A new, plant-based anti-cancer treatment is showing promising signs in horses with melanoma, German researchers have learned.
Betulinic acid, already used for treating human melanomas, could become an effective and safer alternative for treating equine melanoma compared to traditional chemotherapies, said Reinhard Paschke, PhD, Prof. Dr. habil., of Martin Luther University, in Halle, Germany.
Betulinic acid comes from the bark of white birch and similar trees. It attacks cancer cells by breaking down the membranes of the mitochondria—the cell’s “energy factory.” If a cancer cell’s mitochondria malfunctions, it lacks energy and, therefore, will die.
Paschke said he decided to test betulinic acid on equine melanomas when the owner of a gray horse contacted him after reading his research on melanoma treatment in dogs two years ago. read more…