Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Fresh signals emerging from work of noted Jamaican cancer researcher, Dr Henry Lowe, point to a much-needed reprieve for some cancer patients in Jamaica, and internationally as they could soon be well equipped to successfully combat the deadly disease.
Since 2010, when Lowe made his first set of significant breakthroughs in cancer research, the indefatigable scientist has leapt further in cancer research that has served to signal that he is proceeding in the right direction.
Lowe, 74, the executive chairman of Eden Gardens and Biotech R&D Institute, is, by his own admission, in a hurry to transform his findings on the efficacy of the Jamaican ball moss, found on electricity lines and has the capability to destroy cancerous cells in humans. His findings were released publicly in 2010 and reported extensively in leading global medical documentaries.
He has since made further inroads in the cancer-cure research with the development of what is termed in scientific jargon 'Kinases', a group of enzymes used extensively to transmit signals and control processes in cells.
Only three years ago, Lowe released his findings that captured the attention of the world that the moss ball appeared capable of shocking cancer cell into harmless retreat. His research was proved to be consistently and overwhelming positive on animals infected with cancerous cells.
But although the findings have attracted the riveting attention of medical scholars and cancer researchers worldwide, Lowe has been unrelenting in probing and unearthing more research to renew hope in those afflicted by cancerous ailments.
He has made significant headway proving that it will aid in the elusive full-scale cure of the dreaded disease, primarily prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death of men of African descent, with Jamaica having one of the highest rates of the disease in the world.
Three years ago, Lowe and his team members from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine found that an Eden Gardens branded Alpha Prostate formula, derived from the main ingredient Jamaican moss ball, contained major anti-cancer prostate activity.
A new research paper details the activity of a compound isolated from the Jamaican moss ball, which was reported to be very effective in killing 100 per cent of prostate cancer cells in vivo and later demonstrated its efficacy in animal models.
One of 22 chemicals
The scientific name of the compound is called Cycloartanes which is said to be one of 22 chemically related compounds that are found to be responsible for some major anti-cancer activities in the ball moss.
"One of the studies conducted on the Cycloartanes from Jamaican ball moss was Kinase Inhibition activity," Lowe told The Gleaner.
Lowe said the studies now represent gold standard by which pharmaceutical companies identify serious drug candidates. "It has been a long journey from the discovery of the ball moss as a plant with anti-cancer properties," asserted Lowe.
Added Lowe: "The research has been going for well over 10 years and we are now experiencing some of the fruits of our initiatives and hard work, my wish and hope is that if we do things right, Jamaica will be the locale for certain cancer therapy and research and will bring visitors, thereby strengthening Jamaica's health tourism industry."
Two years, he promised to develop and market a nutraceutical for prostate health and wellness called Alpha Prostate Formula 1. The formula has been on the market since 2012. Given its overwhelming acceptance, Lowe disclosed that a second production was done and packaged at a more affordable cost.