News of the WeekBiomedicine

Hazel Trees Offer New Source of Cancer Drug

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Science  07 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5463, pp. 27-28
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5463.27a

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SAN FRANCISCO-- Taxol is a potent and popular cancer drug, but it is harvested from the needles of an endangered tree, and demand for the drug could outpace the trees' productivity. Last week, researchers here at the American Chemical Society's semiannual meeting announced that they have isolated the compound from hazelnut trees and fungi, a finding that could lead to an abundant new source of the drug and possibly lower its cost.