The researchers behind the study – from St George’s, University of London in the UK – write about their findings in the journal EBioMedicine. They describe how the drug artesunate – a common anti-malaria medicine – showed a promising effect in slowing tumor cell proliferation in a small group of colorectal cancer patients before they had their tumors surgically removed.

Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon and rectum – accounts for around 10% of the annual 746,000 global cases of cancer in men per year and 614,000 cases in women. It affects all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in the over-50s.

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