A cough suppressant called Noscapine is studied for its anti cancer properties. A research student at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia has shown that this opioid drug reduced the size of melanoma tumors by 85% within a three week period in mouse models. These results were seen without any signs of toxicity to the host. Similar results were even seen when the drug was taken orally with water.
Another set of tests were later studied and showed that a combination of a chemotherapy agent called Paclitaxel and Noscapine. These results showed the same 85% tumor inhibition as when Noscapine was solely administered. This allowed this particular researcher to conclude that Noscapine does in fact significantly inhibit the progression of melanoma cells with no detected toxicity.
This drug has similar effects as taking Vitamin C. Among other aspects, it inhibits the production of HIF-1 which is required for cancer cells to survive.
Why is Noscapine not available as an anti cancer drug?
Great question! This drug has already been patented and approved for use in many countries including the United States as a cough suppressant. Emory University currently holds the patent with slight modifications for this drug as an anti-cancer drug. They are seeking corporate sponsorship but most larger companies are put off. Since it is already patented as a cough suppressant they won't retain sole rights to the new drug.
More information can be found here:
Studies show that the cough suppressant Noscapine is shrinking tumors in Malignant Melanoma patients.