A Saudi doctor believes his research into gold compounds could reveal a new treatment for cancer.
Dr Saeed Al-Jaroudi, who has been researching and testing gold compounds as a treatment for cancer in Saudi Arabia, told Al Arabiya English that "the use of gold compounds for the treatment of cancer in the near future looks very promising."
Al-Jaroudi explained that the idea of using compounds of gold to fight cancer has been researched for the past 20 years, which he has continued and aims to develop.
"We have experimented on cancer infected rats, and the results so far are incredible," Al-Jaroudi said.
He conducted laboratory experiments which are considered the first phase for approval to accept the compound as treatment. There are two other phases, he explained, which are animal testing and testing on humans. According to Al-Jaroudi this, may take between 10 and 15 years.
His idea to use gold compounds as a treatment for cancer is an attempt to find an alternative to the drug Cisplatin which has been in use for 40 years and which has many side effects.
"One of the side effects is that if a cancer patient continues the treatment, the cancerous cell will eventually become immune to it and hence the drug becomes ineffective," he said, adding that gold compounds are more efficient.
"Gold compounds almost have zero toxicity and no negative effects on the human body. Cancer cells do not have the ability to resist gold compounds," he explained.
Al-Jaroudi confirmed that the treatment has been experimented in the laboratory and its effects and efficiency have been noted in stopping the spread of cancerous cells in stomach and prostate cancer.
However, Al-Jaroudi states that there are some disadvantages to using gold compounds: "The gold compounds are unstable, but the researchers are now focusing on making a compound that is stable."