Researchers from King Abdulaziz University (Jeddah) have tested the effectiveness of micro and nanoshells for delivering a substance from camel urine, PMF701, thought to be a cure for cancer. These findings will be presented at the 2nd Biotechnology World Congress (Feb 18-21).
PMF701, not yet approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, is currently in clinical trials. In a quote published by SciDev.net, the head of the university’s tissue culture unit and the principal investigator of the project Faten Abdel-Rahman Khorshid stated, “We made a natural product medicine, proved its safety and efficiency in vitro [in test tubes] and in vivo on animal models, and finished phase I clinical trials on healthy volunteers with no side effects”.
More research is needed to test the ability of this controversial therapy at treating cancer. In another quote from SciDev.Net, Dr. Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor in Complementary Medicine from the University of Exeter (UK) stated, “There is no evidence here that this new treatment does anything to the natural history of human cancers. Even if there were positive results, it would be wise to wait for independent replications.”
It will be interesting to watch the progress of this research.
F. Khorshid, H. Alshazly, A. Al Jefery and Abdel-Moneim M. Osman, 2010. Dose Escalation Phase I Study in Healthy Volunteers to Evaluate the Safety of a Natural Product PM701. Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 5: 91-97.