Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Russian scientists grow new tobacco that kills cancer instead of humans

Statistically, smokers die of lung cancer a lot more frequently than other people. The ill habit kills several millions of people every year, but the production of cigarettes continues to grow. Russian scientists have recently made a breakthrough discovery: they found the anti-cancer remedy in tobacco.

The lead scientist of the Moscow Laboratory of Transgenic Medications, Vyacheslav Kosorukov, said that the remedy had been found as a result of a series of tests conducted on animals. The tests were held to create modern anti-cancer medicines – they are still made on the base of ovary cells of the Chinese hamster and the mouse myeloma.

“We bred luminescent flies, rabbits and mice. They shine in special lamplight, and we observe what happens in their body cells. Unfortunately, it is too expensive to produce anti-cancer medications on the base of animal cells,” the scientist said.

The cost of one dose of such medications as mabtera, herceptin or avastin makes up about $2.800. A patient would have to pay over $100,000 for one year of treatment. There were incidents when cancer patients had to sell their property to be able to take the course and stay alive. What is worse, there is no universal remedy for cancer. Such medications have to be made individually for each patient. The process may last for up to six months. To crown it all, the use of animal cells may not be safe – a patient can be infected with other deadly viruses.

Russian scientists paid attention to plants, for they make the endless and cheap source of protein on the planet. Herbs do not contain any infections which could be dangerous to humans. Their biggest advantage is speed. Researchers made herbs use all of their resources to produce a required substance very quickly.

The healing tobacco plantation is located at the Moscow-based Institute for Physiochemical Biology named after A.N. Belozersky.

“One box of these herbs is enough to make the vaccine for an oncological patient, the lead scientist of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of viruses, Professor Yury Dorokhov said. “It is five or six times cheaper than other cancer medications. A patient would have to wait from three weeks to 1.5 months for their medications to be ready. This is extremely important, for there are several hundreds of cancer types existing nowadays. We chose the wild Australian tobacco for our experiments. For the time being, we only have a small greenhouse here, but there will be whole fields in the future. We saturate tobacco with a special solution which contains a genetically modified bacterium. The bacterium transmits a DNA fragment into herbal cells, and the required medication is produced afterwards. The leaves begin to glow as soon as the medication is ready. We only have to extract it . The produced substance is a killer: it will search and destroy malignant cells in the body,” the professor said.

The tobacco medication will be first tested on mice. If all tests are successful, those suffering from breast cancer will be the first to receive the new vaccine.

Express Gazeta