One of the first scientific references to the soursop fruit in the United States was by the National Cancer Institute. The soursop was part of a plant-screening program in 1976 that showed its leaves and stems were effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells. These results however, were part of an internal NCI report and were, for some reason, never released to the public. The company which had done thorough research on this cure came upon one stumbling block on its finishing phase. The cure was too natural and under federal law in America, governed by FDA, therefore it wasn't patentable. The company then made the decision not to release its findings leaving the rest of the world ignorant to the discovery they had made, simply because profits could not be earned. However, one scientist from that very same research team decided to go against the company's decision, risking his career, he contacted another company dedicated to harvesting medical plants from the Amazon Rainforest and announced the discovery.
Since then, there have been several promising cancer studies on soursop. However, there are no records of the soursop extract being tested on cancer patients. No clinical trials exist which is why many people are unaware of its ability. Even though clinical trials are typically the benchmark mainstream doctors and journals use to judge a treatment’s value, soursop has been shown to kill cancer cells in vitro in at least 20 laboratory tests.
A study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea revealed that two chemicals extracted from soursop seeds showed "selective cytotoxicity comparable with Adriamycin" for breast and colon cancer cells. The chemicals targeted and killed malignant breast and colon cells in a test tube comparable to the commonly used chemotherapy drug Adriamycin.
Another study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, showed that soursop outperforms Adriamycin in laboratory tests. Results revealed a chemical found in soursop selectively kills colon cancer cells at "10,000 times the potency of Adriamycin."
Purdue University researchers recently found that leaves from the soursop tree killed cancer cells "among six human-cell lines" and were especially effective against prostate and pancreatic cancer cells. In a separate study, Purdue researchers showed that extracts from the soursop leaves are extremely effective in isolating and killing lung cancer cells. The remarkable thing to note here is that not only is it incredibly effective in the destruction of cancer cells but it isolates them and causes no harm to other normal cells, quite unlike chemotherapy.
U.S. researchers Lana Dvorkin-Camiel and Julia S. Whelan reviewed research on the use of extracts from tropical American plants in the treatment of infectious diseases. In their assessment of soursop, published in the December 2008 issue of the "Journal of Dietary Supplements," the two cited multiple in-vitro studies that demonstrate soursop's effectiveness against various microbial and parasitic agents. Specifically, soursop appears to be effective against such parasites as Leishmania braziliensis, Leishmania panamensis, Nippostrongylus braziliensis, Artemia salina and Trichomonas vaginalis, as well as against the Herpes simplex virus.
In a Nigerian animal study, methanolic extracts from soursop were tested on laboratory animals in which diabetes had been chemically induced. Researchers in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Obafemi Awolowo University divided 30 laboratory rats into three groups for testing. Group A, the control group, consisted of 10 rats in which no changes were induced. Rats in Group B and C were injected with streptozotocin to induce a state of hyperglycemia, or diabetes. Over the course of four weeks, rats in Group C were injected daily with a soursop extract. In findings published in the October 2008 issue of the "African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines," the research team reported that test animals in Group C showed significantly lower blood glucose levels than those in the untreated Group B, confirming the antihyperglycemic properties of the soursop extract.
In a study conducted by Taiwanese researchers, new and known acetogenins extracted from the seeds and leaves of soursop were tested in the laboratory against two human hepatoma, or liver cancer, cell lines. The three new acetogenins extracted from seeds were designated muricin H, muricin I and cis-annomontacin, while the two extracted from leaves were named cis-corossolone and annocatalin. In an article published in the April 2002 issue of the "Journal of Natural Products," the researchers reported that all five of the new soursop acetogenins exhibited strong activity against the cancer cells in in-vitro testing.
Extract Don Amerman