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The parthenolide mystery may not be so mysterious, after all…

Posted Oct 06 2010 8:39am

I may finally have discovered why my feverfew extract didn’t work at all for me last year. According to a new study published in “Blood” ( ), while parthenolide, the active ingredient in feverfew, has devastating effects on acute myeloid leukemia cells, it also induces cellular protective responses that likely function to reduce its overall cytotoxicity. AAAAAGGGHHH! That essentially means that a leukemic cell will raise barriers to protect itself from parthenolide. Obviously, not a good thing…!

But never fear: the indefatigable parthenolide “investigators” (=the authors of this study) have already identified those parthenolide compounds that do not induce any cytoprotective* effects in vitro. So, a bit of bad news is followed by a bit of good news, too…

(*Cytoprotection, by the way, has to do with how a cell protects itself against harmful agents such as chemotherapy or, as in this case, parthenolide.)

I have to admit that, after reading about parthenolide’s murderous effects on leukemic stem cells, I had verrry high hopes for PTL…And I was really upset when I saw that my myeloma markers had worsened quite a lot…

Well, this abstract at least provides a plausible explanation for what happened to me. So, for now at least, I am cancelling PTL from my list of supplements…with regret, I might add…

Written by Margaret

October 6th, 2010 at 8:39 am

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