A traditional remedy made from foxgloves can lower the risk of prostate cancer by a quarter, scientists claim.
The drug digoxin is already used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms. Now researchers say it could help to combat prostate cancer by stopping the growth of the disease, according to the Cancer Discovery journal.
Scientists from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found digoxin lowered the risk of prostate cancer by 24 per cent among the 47,000 men tested. But they warn the results do not prove digoxin, whose side-effects include nausea, headaches and male breast enlargement, prevents the disease.
Professor Elizabeth Platz said: 'We realised that combining our laboratory and epidemiologic approaches could reduce the possibility that results on the candidate drugs might be due to chance. Adding the epidemiology study to the drug screen step provided an assessment of the drug's potential activity in people.'