A team of seven Nigerian scientists from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), has made progress in a groundbreaking research into the use of local herbs for cancer therapy.
Already, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) have applauded the research, promising to work with the scientists to conduct pre-clinical trials.
Prof. Hussaini, who presented the study to the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), said eight out of the 54 plants so far identified showed more promise than the current drugs used in the treatment of cancer.
He highlighted how three of the plants showed impressive anti-cancer activities against both breast cancer and brain tumour. According to him:
“We are working to develop effective cancer therapy using Nigerian medicinal plants. We have characterised and identified some plants. We have tested them and they are very effective. Eight out of the 54 that we have are better than even the current drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer. We are trying to identify some of those active compounds that are responsible for this anti-cancer activity. Afterwards, in partnership with NAFDAC or NIPRID, we will do animal and even pre-clinical studies.
The team is made up of medical doctors, surgeons, pharmaceutical chemists and pharmacognosists, and then medicinal herbalist – a consultant. I am a pharmacologist. We have several papers that we have published. We have some papers ready for publication.”