In the fight against cancer, a group of researchers from UCLA have discovered a substance in traditional Chinese herbs called Tianshengyuan-1, or TSY-1, which directly affects the activity of the enzyme telomerase in blood cells and malignant cells. Up until now, scientists had no way of inhibiting the activity in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. Along with paving the way to developing new cancer treatments, the research also provides a possible way to correct blood cell disorders. El Dorado County senior care experts discuss the implications of the TSY-1 for cancer and blood disorders.
Telomere and Telomerase Function
Telomeres serve as protective coverings over the ends of chromosomes in the same way plastic aglets protect the ends of shoelaces. The enzyme telomerase is responsible for creating telomeres. Without telomeres, cells would lose vital DNA each time they divide. As cells age, telomeres become shorter, which depletes DNA and prevents cells from replicating.
More than 80 percent of cancers have high levels of telomerase and lengthy telomeres. On the other hand, various blood disorders occur due to shortened telomeres. Bone marrow disorders are diagnosed in approximately seven of every 100,000 people each year. Aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and pre-leukemia are some examples.
For many years, Chinese medical practitioners used TSY-1 extract in the treatment of blood disorders. The substance is obtained from a variety of herbs, which include almond, frankincense, magnolia officinalis, pericarpium citri and reticulatae viride. The extraction process involves distilling the herbal mixture.
A Wealth of New Treatment Options
Scientists compared the effects of TSY-1 on malignant cells, cord blood stem cells, and blood cells obtained from peripheral blood vessels. To their amazement, the substance enhanced telomerase activity and telomere length in blood cells and inhibited these actions in malignant cells. TSY-1 acts by targeting a gene called TERT. Along with regenerating red blood cells in bone marrow, TSY-1 contributes to blood cell recovery in the liver and spleen of laboratory animals. The substance also increases the number of white blood cells known as cytotoxic T cells.
If you have a senior loved one with cancer or a blood disorder and would like more information about breakthrough medical research, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. We provide professional live-in and respite care. El Dorado County, CA, families can call a Care Manager at (916) 358-3801 to learn about our home care services.