Chemistry professor Siyaram Pandey, who works in a University of Windsor lab, and his team successfully used a compound inspired by a flower to target and kill cancer back in 2017. I’m not sure why didn’t we hear about it then but in case you didn’t remember, Pandey got a $157K research grant to study cancer-killing dandelion tea back in 2012. He seems to be on a role.


Using a compound based on extract from the common spider lily plant, Pandey and his team created a lab-synthesized drug that killed 20 varieties of cancer cells:

“This drug is very selective and targets the mitochondria of various cancer cells to induce apoptosis, which means the cancer cells commit suicide and the normal cells continue to thrive. We are talking about a drug that could be 10 times more effective that the very toxic chemotherapy drug Taxol. This is the first time we got a compound which can distinguish between cancer and normal cells.”1


However, before Pandey and his researchers teamed up with with other Ontario universities, it took one kilogram of spider lily buds to make one milligram of the compound. But after the colaboration, they were able to create the non-toxic, synthetic compound they named pancratistatin.

“Seven compound variations were produced and patented in cooperation with researchers from McMaster and Brock universities. The team tested the variations on animals with tumours as well as 20 varieties of cancer cells including breast, cancer, prostate, melanoma and bone.”2


This is more proof that nature really does hold the cure for whatever our body needs. But, while this discovery is exciting, a drug company will have to put the compound through clinical trials. We will keep you updated.

Sources and References

  1. CBC, February 23, 2017.
  2. CBC, February 23, 2017.