Mexico, Jul. 11 (Notimex).- After a decade of research and laboratory tests, researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, for its acronym in Spanish) managed to develop a "super chayote", whose crude extract contains a powerful antitumor and antineoplastic agent (against cancer), but that is kind to normal cells.
The cell biology specialist Edelmiro Santiago Osorio, who together with his group of work of the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES, for its acronym in Spanish) Zaragoza campus, managed to develop this hybrid of two species of wild Mexican chayotes, said surprised by corroborating the activity of this vegetable as an agent antineoplastic
He said it is as powerful as cytarabine, a drug used in the treatment of some types of cancer, whose mechanism is based on interfering with DNA synthesis, which hinders the multiplication of malignant cells.
The crude extract of the hybrid generated in his laboratory is a thousand times more powerful than that of the specimens that can be found in a common market, so they are looking to create or incubate a company that makes the active substance of this "super chayote" available to the public.
"We would have to eat many kilos of chayote from the market to have the effect that we achieved with the hybrid; however, indistinctly it is healthy to consume this cucurbitaceae, in fact in hospitals it is a basic part of the diet," he said.
According to the General Direction of Social Communication of the UNAM, the potential of the crude extract of the university hybrid was evaluated in leukemic cell lines and bone marrow mononuclear cells of normal mice, and it was proved that it inhibited to a great extent the proliferation of some lines cancer reproductive cells.
The researcher of the FES Zaragoza explained that the idea of him and his team is not to look for a single molecule, but to have an arsenal: "we must find the way to attack at the same time with several molecules in different points of possible development of the tumor cell."
This line of research, concluded Edelmiro Santiago, began in 2005 to join efforts among agronomists who were investigating the chayote to know what other biological effect it might have, apart from the food benefits.