Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 56° Clear
News >  Spokane

Chemist’s Research Saving Yews

By Associated Press

A University of Portland chemist thinks she can squeeze more taxol, a cancer-fighting drug, from the Pacific yew tree.

If the efforts of Sister Angela Hoffman succeed, the supply of the scarce drug would increase while the need to harvest so much yew tree bark would decrease.

Hoffman, an assistant professor of chemistry, has shown that fingersized yew cuttings will export taxol to liquid in which cuttings are placed.

“If we transfer taxol into the liquid,” she said, “we can extract it much more easily than grinding down bark and needles.”

Her research is in a second phase, which will determine whether the yew cuttings are manufacturing fresh taxol or excreting existing supplies.

She will feed yew plants a radioactive version of the material necessary to naturally synthesize taxol.

Wordcount: 132
Tags: treatment

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email