Foxgloves, beautiful, poisonous & cancer fighter


The tests showed those given digoxin - the drug developed from the flower - had fewer cancer cells spread to the lungs, one of the major sites that breast tumours migrate to.

One of Britain’s best known flowering plants could soon be used to stop the spread of breast cancer. Scientists at John Hopkins University, Baltimore have discovered that a drug based on foxglove, which produces distinctive tall spires of pink tubular bells in the summer, can dramatically slow the migration of malignant cells to other parts of the body.

Their research reveals that digoxin, a long-established drug based on chemicals found in foxglove, can block the production of a protein called HIF-1, which has been implicated in the spread of breast tumours.

Digoxin has been used for decades to treat conditions such as congestive heart failure and irregular heartbeats. But the latest discovery, by a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, suggests the cheap and easily available medicine could also be deployed in the fight against cancer.

Earlier this year the same team found it could reduce the spread of prostate cancer in men by around 24 per cent. ‘This is really exciting,’ said research leader Dr Gregg Semenza, from the Institute for Cell Engineering at the university. ‘Our findings warrant clinical trials to determine if the doses (used in animal studies) are enough to sufficiently block HIF-1 and slow breast cancer growth and spread.’

Foxglove was one of the first plants to be used for the development of a pharmaceutical medicine. Read more:

About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
This entry was posted in Flower Varieties, Flowers and Health, Flowers in the News, Foxglove and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Foxgloves, beautiful, poisonous & cancer fighter

  1. Pingback: Floral Crimes | The Blog Farm

  2. Pingback: Floral Crimes | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  3. Pingback: Best Flowers for a Cottage Garden | The Blog Farm

  4. Pingback: Best Flowers for a Cottage Garden | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  5. Pingback: Fun Flower Facts: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  6. Pingback: Weird & Wacky: Fasciation | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  7. Pingback: What are Biennial Flowers? | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s