Interesting perspective on evidence-based medicine and the current drug development regulations.
Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, nature has equipped plants and other living organisms with their very own survival kits. Throughout history, we humans have borrowed from nature to defend against one of our greatest enemies—disease. Here is a beautiful presentation offered by Novartis on the history of natural products in drug discovery: http://beautifulmedicine.com/#0
Every time somebody (not scientific) asks me what I work on, I give the example of antibiotic resistance as a parallel to cancer drug resistance. I appreciate the efforts put to raise awareness to the magnitude, impact and challenge of antibiotic resistance. Data shows that it is our responsibility to act with caution and contribute for a more sustainable use of antibiotics. And since my PhD thesis research focuses on multidrug resistance in cancer, I take the opportunity to remind that we are facing a similar challenge in cancer treatment. Here is a dense summary on the current situation in cancer resistance, published in Future Medicinal Chemistry in 2015: ¨ Worldwide, cancer represents a major health concern with an estimated 28.8 million people diagnosed with cancer . Within the USA, the lifetime risk of developing cancer in males is as high as 44% with 1:2 American men developing cancer. Over 1.5 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the USA, resulting in an average of approximately 583,000 annual cancer-related deaths . Out of these cancer-related deaths, most result from progression to metastatic disease that no longer responds to current interventions. While advances in cancer treatments continue to alleviate some of the global cancer burden, the molecular and genetic plasticity of cancer cells frequently drives their adaptation to these interventions and underlies the emergence of drug resistance. The need for new cancer therapies to target pathways involved in the development of resistance is essential to improve further the outcomes for patients.¨ Source
Human ABCC2 is an ATP-binding cassette transporter involved in the export of endobiotics and xenobiotics. It is involved in cisplatin resistance in cancer cells, particularly in ovarian cancer. The few known ABCC2 modulators are poorly efficient, so it is necessary to explore new ways to select and optimize efficient compounds ABCC2. Natural products offer an original scaffold for such a strategy and brings hope for this aim. This review covers basic knowledge about ABCC2, from distribution and topology aspects to physiological and pathological functions. It summarizes the effect of natural products as ABCC2 modulators. Certain plant metabolites act on different ABCC2 regulation levels and therefore are promising candidates to block the multidrug resistance mediated by ABCC2 in cancer cells. http://www.future-science.com/doi/abs/10.4155/fmc.15.131