Study leader Dr. Christine Dufes of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and colleagues at the University of Glasgow said the team used an approach that allowed the treatment of epigallocatechin gallate delivered specifically to the tumors intravenously.
The study, published in the journal Nanomedicine, found nearly two-thirds of the tumors it was delivered to either shrank or disappeared within one month. In addition, the treatment displayed no side effects to normal tissues, Dufes said.
For example, on two different types of skin cancer, 40 percent of both types of tumor vanished, while 30 percent of one and 20 percent of another shrank, while a further 10 percent of one stabilized, Dufes said.
"These are very encouraging results which we hope could pave the way for new and effective cancer treatments. When we used our method, the green tea extract reduced the size of many of the tumors every day, in some cases removing them altogether. By contrast, the extract had no effect at all when it was delivered by other means, as every one of these tumors continued to grow," Dufes said in a statement. "This research could open doors to new treatments for what is still one of the biggest killer diseases in many countries."