The Dandelion Root Project

Sudipa Chatterjee, Pamela Ovadje and Carly Griffin examine a sample of the dandelion root extract.

The Dandelion Root Project is aimed at showcasing scientific evidence for the safe and effective use of dandelion root extract and other natural health products for cancer therapy.

The Dandelion Root Project started in 2009 in a bid to investigate the anticancer effect of the root extract of dandelions against cancer cells in the lab (in cells and in animal models). This project started with funding from the Knights of Columbus, Chapter 9671 (Windsor) and has been sustained by funding from other sources, including Seeds4Hope Grant (local Cancer Foundation), Lotte & John Hecht Foundation, The Pajama Angels and the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation. Private and personal donations have been made from the Windsor local community, as well as from all around Canada. We dedicate this project in the memory of Mr. Kevin Couvillon, who lost his battle with leukemia in 2010.

Since the commencement of this project, we have been able to successfully assess the effect of a simple water extract of dandelion root in various human cancer cell types, in the lab and we have observed its effectiveness against human T cell leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, pancreatic and colon cancers, with no toxicity to non-cancer cells. Furthermore, these efficacy studies have been confirmed in animal models (mice) that have been transplanted with human colon cancer cells.

We also applied for Phase I clinical trials in 2012 for the use of DRE in hematological cancers and in November 2012, we obtained approval for the administration of DRE in human patients and currently, the dandelion root extract is under Phase 1 clinical trials for drug refractory blood cancers.

Studies to understand how dandelion root extract can identify differences between cancer cells and non-cancer cells are underway, while at the same time, the identification of the active components within the extract is ongoing. We are excitingly awaiting the results from these studies.