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New discovery from vietnamese Crinum latifolium L.

The scientific research project “Study of the biological effects and safety of alkaloids and flavonoids from Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” has been finished and received an “EXCELLENT” evaluation from the Peer Review Board. This news is a promising development for patients with lung and prostate cancer. 
This scientific project was managed and partly funded by the Ministry of Health for a collaboration of scientists from Vietnam and Bulgaria to conduct and develop the protocol between the two countries which has been supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2009. The peer review board concluded that the initial results are very encouraging and formally recommends in vivo clinical trials on lung and prostate cancer patients to further the solid scientific basis for the production of a new Vietnamese medicinal herb for mass production.

The First Laboratory Mice
Since late 2010, Pharmacist - Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram has innovated technology in cultivation, extraction and formulation to produce a new Vietnamese medicinal herbal product named “Crilin® T” from certain specific alkaloids and flavonoids (tumor growth inhibitory substances) extracted from the leaves and flowers of “Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” (a new proprietary cultivar of Vietnamese Crinum latifolium, with the scientific name Crinum latifolium L.). Studies were conducted for safety, toxicity, and cytotoxicity, especially concentrating on the biological effects and evaluation of the ability of Crilin® T to stimulate the immune system against cancer. 
American BALB/c nude mice were imported for the research project and inoculated with human lung cancer cells, helping the scientists discover several interesting outcomes. Reported to the initial peer review board in late October on “acute toxicity” of the new medicinal herb, the research group announced: After being administered to the highest possible dose, mice from all groups still ate, drank and excreted normally. No mouse died within 72 hours after taking trial drugs and no sign of toxicity was observed during 7 monitoring days. The research results of “subacute toxicity” of Crilin® T on rabbits have also led to the conclusion that this Vietnamese medicinal herb is safe for patients. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among others, are the subject of intense research study in Vietnam and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 
The scientists concluded the findings demonstrate Crilin® T has the ability to support the treatment of cancer. This low-priced medicinal herbal product is equivalent to cancer treatment drugs circulated in domestic and international markets. 
  In early 2012, Dr. Tram’s research work group on Crinum latifolium L. was presented the State Award, together with the evaluation: “getting excellent results and high value in science and technology, being published and used from the establishment date of Democratic Republic of Vietnam which is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, contributing significantly to the development of the national economy.”

 
A Two-Decades-Long Research Journey
The research group was headed by the renowned Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram. In 2014, Dr. Tram received two patents for a medicinal herbal product against cancer “Crilin® T” and was recognized as “The Scientist Unraveling the Secrets of  the Royal Virgin” in Thanh Nien Newspaper (2005).
Associated with Dr. Tram are Dr. Ha Hoi (Thien Duoc Co., Ltd); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Mai Huong (Vietnam Academy of Sciences); Prof. Dr. Sc. Phan Thi Phi Phi; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thi Thu Anh and associates from the Department of Immunology (Hanoi Medical University), Dr. Nguyen Linh Toan (Vietnam Military Medical Academy), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Thi Ngoc Thanh (Hanoi Medical University); Assoc. Prof. Dr. E.Zvetcova, and Dr. Ivan Kostov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fuchs and Dr. Johanna Gostner (Division of Medical Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry – Innsbruck Medical University, Austria). They are all enthusiastic scientists who have devoted many years of their time to study Crinum latifolium before their official participation in this scientific project.
 
TRIPARTITE COOPERATION MODEL
It can be said that this is a very successful linking model between the state, the scientists and the businesses. With partial funding by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Dr. Tram’s business has presided over the additional funding and cooperation with international scientists as permitted by the Ministry of Science and Technology to produce medicinal herbal products. Up to now, in addition to the capsules awaiting permission from the Ministry of Health to conduct clinical trials on voluntary cancer patients, Dr. Tram’s studies have released 3 medicinal herbal products exported to America, one medicinal herbal product to be tested at the state level managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology and many medicinal herbal products financed by the banks and credit institutions. 
Associated with Dr. Tram are Dr. Ha Hoi (Thien Duoc Co., Ltd); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Mai Huong (Vietnam Academy of Sciences); Prof. Dr. Sc. Phan Thi Phi Phi; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thi Thu Anh and associates from the Department of Immunology (Hanoi Medical University), Dr. Nguyen Linh Toan (Vietnam Military Medical Academy), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Thi Ngoc Thanh (Hanoi Medical University); Assoc. Prof. Dr. E.Zvetcova, and Dr. Ivan Kostov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fuchs and Dr. Johanna Gostner (Division of Medical Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry – Innsbruck Medical University, Austria). They are all enthusiastic scientists who have devoted many years of their time to study Crinum latifolium before their official participation in this scientific project.
However, there was no one who could turn this valuable medicinal herb into a modern, commercially available product serving the community. In 1990, returning home after the completion of her doctoral thesis in Bulgaria, Dr. Tram developed “Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” thanks to the support from the Vietnamese leading botanists Prof. Dr. Do Tat Loi, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Van Chi, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Cong Khanh. Since that time, she resolved to build a large-scale organic herbal material plantation and modern production facility. In July 2005, the first capsules were launched to the market which drew much attention from the public. In 2010, Healing Quest, a famous American television program specializing in integrative health, came to Vietnam to report on Dr. Tram’s research. This inspired scientific circles as well as people around the world to travel to Vietnam to learn more. A year later, Crila® - Dr. Tram’s medicinal herbal products for uterine, menopause and prostate health - officially entered the American market, which is considered the most demanding pharmaceutical market. As a beneficial prostate herb to promote and maintain the structure and function of the aging male prostate, Crila® has become especially popular with men worldwide.
With this new discovery Crilin® T, Dr. Tram and her colleagues are expected to provide cancer patients with a specific safe and low-priced medicinal herb.
V.K 


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