- Twilley has found a possible cancer treatment in indigenous plants
- She was internationally recognized for this find and hopes that her research will continue to make way in cancer research
- Twilley and UP are currently in process of getting a permit to make this plant usable by companies
Danielle Twilley is a 28 year old scientist from the University of Pretoria (UP). She was recently internationally recognized for her contribution to science with her research on the use of indigenous plants to treat cancer.
She found one amazing indigenous plant which will likely change the treatment of a cancer called melanoma. It is commonly found in traditional medicines in South Africa which have been used to treat skin ailments for many years.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. 65%-86% of melanoma is caused due to sun exposure.
She was as the 2018 L’Oréal-Unesco Women in Science, International Rising Talent, by the organizers of the L’Oréal-Unesco Women in Science Awards, in France this past week.
Twilley shared the statistic that one in every three cancers diagnosed is a form of skin cancer.
“The risk of developing melanoma can double after more than five sunburns. The fact that the ozone layer is constantly depleting further accounts for the large number of melanoma cases throughout the world.”
“Melanoma is an exceptionally dangerous type of cancer because it has the ability to spread into other parts of the body, making it difficult to control and treat.”
Through medicinal plants the scientist of the faculty of natural and agricultural sciences’ department of plant and soil is finding new ways to inhibit both angiogenesis and tumor growth in melanoma cells.
Twilley has been focusing on indigenous plants from South Africa to find treatment. She has already found a plant that had significant cytotoxicity (toxic to cells) towards melanomas. She has had success with her discoveries in the in-vitro phase.
Twilley and UP are in the process of applying for a bio prospecting permit so that UP can license the plant out to manufacturing companies who can then develop topical treatments.
She is looking to help the community with her research and not only find cures for cancer.
“There is great potential to create a local market for community farmers who can grow these plants. This can create jobs.”
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