Scientists had, sometime back, discovered a promising cancer drug in a mushroom which is commonly used in Chinese cooking, and now it can be made more effective thanks to an extensive research which has led experts to understand how the medicine actually works.
The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, was successfully carried out at The University of Nottingham.
Study leader Dr Cornelia de Moor and her team investigated a drug known as cordycepin, which was first extracted from a rare wild mushroom called cordyceps, but is now prepared through a cultivated form.
"Our discovery will open up the possibility of investigating the range of different cancers that could be treated with cordycepin. We have also developed a very effective method that can be used to test new, more efficient or more stable versions of the drug in the Petri dish", said Dr. Moor.
Cordyceps has long been used in Chinese medicines and its many properties make it an interesting study subject. It is a rare parasitic mushroom which grows on caterpillars.
Details of the research are all set to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.