The Arabidopsis thaliana — also referred to as the thale cress— is a flower that has now been discovered to have medical properties to aid breast cancer patients on the road to recovery.
Dr. Amanda Harvey of Brunel University London, Professor Alessandra Devoto of Royal Holloway, University of London, and Professor Nicholas Smirnoff of Exeter University were the team of scientists that made this discovery. Experiments were done on the thale cress flower and the observations shown were that the flower stops the breast cancer cells from growing while normal cells remain unharmed.
The thale cress flower was previously dismissed for not being useful to the medical world, but with recent scientific experiments, it has been shown that this flower has the potential to help as future chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Harvey, Professor Devoto, and Professor Smirnoff conducted the experiment by taking the Arabidopsis thaliana leaves, treating them with the plant hormone Jasmonate (a compound contained in jasmine that enhances the reaction of plants to stress), and incubated the flower leaves with breast cancer cells. They observed that the regular cells remained unchanged even though the cancer cells stopped developing.
Professor Alessandra Devoto said, “The plant is very much like the ‘Cinderella’ of the medicinal plant world – no one thought it was so special, but it has shown its true colours via our research. The discovery has important implications in developing treatments for cancer as well as other diseases.”
The thale cress flower may be the key to the future of the medical world. With this research, one foot is already through the door of fighting cancer. “We look forward to continuing our work with Professor Devoto to identify plant-based chemicals that interact with both breast cancer cells and other diseases and to promote this study by increasing more money for the greater good of society.”
This flower is the stepping stone for future research, not just on breast cancer, but also in other types of cancers and ailments. The future seems brighter and more hopeful all thanks to the thale cress flower.