Namibian Academic Sheds Light On Liver Cancer Protection

A university thesis study, by a Namibian doctorate student, has found that some indigenous plants have the potential to serve as protection against liver cancer and it also provided the first description of the chemo-preventative mechanisms, associated with consumption of these plants.

The study was done by Christoph Hikuam, who has just graduated with a doctorate degree in Biomedical Technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. His thesis is titled “Modulation of the redox status, phase 2 drug metabolising enzymes and fumonisin-induced cancer promotion in rat liver by selected southern African medicinal plants”, and characterised antioxidant contents and capacities of Adansonia digitata, Agathosma betulina, Siphonochilus aethiopicus and Myrothamnus flabellifolius. The in vitro phase of this work was followed by in vivo assessments investigating effects of chronic consumption, and possible mechanisms of chemo prevention in a liver cancer model in rats, respectively.

“As these multi-purpose medicinal plants generally present as readily available and cost-effective alternatives to western medicine, the knowledge provided by scientific investigations, such as the study, will assist in validating the anecdotal health benefits associated with consumption of the indigenous plants,” the Namibian Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences (NAMLS) says in the statement, congratulating Dr Hikuam for his academic achievements. The NAMLS, for which Dr Hikuam has been the president since June 2012, serves as the voice of all medical laboratory professionals and is committed to the aancement of the medical laboratory practice through aocating the value and the role of the profession in ensuring effective health care.

Dr Hikuam was born and grew up in Windhoek, Namibia. After completing his senior secondary education at the Deutsche Houmlhere Privatschule in Windhoek, he commenced his studies in Biomedical Technology at the Cape Technikon in 1997. Dr Hikuam completed the National Diploma in 1999, followed by the BTech in 2000 from the same institution. Between 2001 and 2004, Dr Hikuam practiced as a medical technologist in Namibia, before returning to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2005 for his MTech in Biomedical Technology. He graduated in 2007, and registered for the DTech in Biomedical Technology in the same year. After three years of full-time studies, Dr Hikuam returned to Namibia to take up a lecturing position at the Polytechnic of Namibia, while continuing with his studies on a part-time basis. Dr Hikuam is the founder of Namib Health Consultancies (NHC) and is currently involved in health, environmental and associated scientific services in Namibia.

Source : New Era