School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Anticancer effects

Melanoma cell

In 2007 our group made the decision to expand our research interests and investigate the anticancer potential of tea tree oil. At that time only a single study by Calcabrini and colleagues (2004) had shown tea tree oil had anticancer activity against melanoma cells, calling for much needed further research.

 

Since then we have studied the effect of tea tree oil and its major components against cancer cells grown in the laboratory and also the effect of topically applied tea tree oil in tumour bearing mice.

 

Laboratory studies

  • Investigate the activity of tea tree oil and it’s components against a range of tumour cells compared to normal non-tumour cells

  • Establish whether tea tree oil inhibits tumour cell division

  • Establish how tea tree oil can kill cancer cells

  • Determine the pathway that leads to tumour cell death

  • Investigate the potential for topical tea tree oil formulations to inhibit the growth of tumours implanted under the skin in mice

  • Establish how topical tea tree oil formulations affect the tumour

  • Determine the involvement of the immune system when tea tree oil formulas are topically applied

  • Determine the pathway that leads of tumour cell death in mice when treated with tea tree oil formulations

  • Investigate how tea tree oil and its major components penetrate the skin in a variety of formulations

Other and future studies

  • Use of tea tree oil formulations to protect against UV-induced DNA damage in mice
  • Examine the safety and efficacy of topical tea tree oil in patients with pre-cancerous skin lesions


 

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