The Trustees of OPCaRT regret to announce that owing to lack of funds the OPCaRT Lab has had to close.
During the past 5 years the Lab has accomplished several pieces of ground-breaking research. For example, its research program with Royal Surrey County Hospital that demonstrated the efficacy, in vitro, of the anti-cancer phytochemicals Oridonin and Wogonin to halt the progression of chemo-resistant ovarian cancer.
See the OPCaRT Research page for more details.
The Trustees would like to thank OPCaRT Lab's many friends and suppliers for their support and encouragement for the Lab's work.
OPCaRT's mission is to identify and research the efficacy and mode of action of botanically derived anti-cancer compounds, initially targeting ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. In 2008 in the UK (the latest year for which incidence data is available), there were over 6,500 new cases of Ovarian Cancer diagnosed, and some 4,300 deaths (2009). The equivalent figures for Prostate Cancer are 37,000 and 10,000 respectively. (For more information on these and other cancers visit Cancer Research UK's website)
The starting point for OPCaRT's work is the plant extracts that made up the highly effective anti-prostate cancer phyto-chemical extracts mixture sold as 'PC-SPES', produced by BotanicLab of California between 1997 and 2001. This product ceased to be available in 2001 when BotanicLab ceased trading - but not before the results of several clinical trials had demonstrated the substantial life extending efficacy of the formulation in approximately 50% of 'advanced' cases of the disease.
Dr Sophie Chen, a former Associate Professor at New York Medical College and now OPCaRT's Research Director is the scientist principally responsible for identifying the active agents in the PC-SPES product, which was based on a traditional Chinese medicine anti-cancer decoction. It consisted of a 'cocktail' of extracts from 8 medicinal plants. It was successfully used by thousands of prostate cancer sufferers and found to have remarkable cancer inhibition properties. It was acknowledged by many in the clinician and research community to have been the most effective therapy for metastasised Prostate Cancer (PCa) ever.
In-vitro and in-vivo studies, by many researchers, showed that it inhibited cancer progression inducing tumour cell apoptosis (cell death) in a variety of cancer types - not only prostate cancer. The mode of action of the 'cocktail' is now beginning to be unravelled.
Dr Chen's pioneering research work in the field of anti-cancer phytochemicals has resulted in the identification of five of the anti-cancer phytochemicals contained in the PC-SPES cocktail.
As indicated earlier, for the immediate future OPCaRT is focussing on ovarian and prostate cancer. In the longer term, OPCaRT intends to build upon the knowledge gained with the objective of understanding how phytochemicals, individually and in combination, can be used to treat a wider variety of cancers and other forms of degenerative disease.