The University of Strathclyde team made 40 per cent of human skin cancer tumours disappear using the compound, in a laboratory study.
Green tea has long been suspected of having anti-cancer properties and the extract, called epigallocatechin gallate, has been investigated before. However, this is the first time researchers have managed to make it effective at shrinking tumours.
The lab test on one type of human skin cancer showed 40 per cent of tumours disappeared after a month of treatment, while an additional 30 per cent shrank.
Dr Julie Sharp, from Cancer Research UK, said: “A few studies have shown that extracts from green tea may have some effect on cancer cells in the lab but this has not yet been backed up by research in humans.”
She added: “It’s far too soon to say if enjoying a cup of green tea has any wider benefits in combating cancer but we know that a healthy balanced diet can help to reduce the risk.”
Tip: @PharmacistScott on Twitter
This may be just another twist on chemotherapy. But note the hype in the title “eradicates cancer tumours”. This was not done in humans. This was in the lab (in vitro). Watch for manufacturers of green tea products to utilize this positive spin for marketing. As this article noted, just drinking green tea IS NOT the same. But, they may market the extract as a cancer treatment alternative. And that’s bad medicine.