Scientists trial berry extract as treatment for eye cancer

A compound from the Christmas berry primrose plant is being explored as a potential therapeutic option for uveal melanoma

Christmas berry primrose plant

Scientists are exploring the potential of a berry extract as a way of preventing a common form of adult eye cancer from spreading.

In a new study, which was published in Molecular Cancer Research, researchers found that a compound extracted from the Christmas berry primrose plant inhibited the growth of uveal cancer in preliminary tests.

Scientists grew three different types of uveal melanoma cells in the lab then treated them with a compound extracted from the berry, FR900359 (FR).

Dr Jeffrey Benovic, from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, said that the cells appeared to revert from cancer cells to typical melanocytes when exposed to the compound.

“FR appears to be able to help reset the cells back to their normal state,” he explained.

Higher doses of FR killed the cells, suggesting that the compound could be an effective treatment for uveal melanoma one day.

As a next step, the researchers plan on using FR in a mouse model of uveal melanoma.

Image credit: Dan Foy