Sydney, May 5 (ZXS) -- Zheng Wanyi, a Chinese Australian medical researcher: Cancer cells were studied only because her mother died of cancer

Written by Gu Shihong Luo Wenjun

The autumn sun shines through the glass window warmly on the face of Zheng Wanyi, a scientist at the Institute of Biomedical Materials and Instruments at the University of Technology Sydney. With short hair and a vibrant body, she explained the origin of her return to Australia from Hong Kong, China to study cancer cells: "Just because my mother died suddenly of cancer."

Born in Guangdong, raised in Hong Kong and attended university in Sydney, Cheng returned to work for a chemical company in Hong Kong after graduating in 1999 and continued her studies at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. One day in 2002, at 4 a.m., her originally healthy mother squatted weakly outside Zheng Wanyi's room and knocked on the door.

"She suddenly didn't recognize me and asked who I was." Zheng Wanyi recalled. The doctor told Zheng Wanyi that her mother's head had a development very close to the brainstem, but the risk of surgery was high, and Zheng Wanyi, who had a medical background, was also a little pessimistic. After reviewing the academic literature, she decided to have her mother undergo surgery, extending her mother's life expectancy from three months to nine months.

Since then, the shadow of her mother's death from brain cancer has hung over her, and she has decided to return to Australia to pursue cancer research as a lifelong career. "I don't want more people like me to lose loved ones before they properly honor their parents," she said. ”

Her postdoctoral experience at City University of Hong Kong has given her deeper understanding of lymphoma and blood cancer. After returning to Australia in 2010, she quickly received an olive branch from the Asbestos Disease Research Institute of Australia (ADRI) and became Chief Scientist in 2018. ADRI is a scientific institution dedicated to the study of mesothelioma in collaboration with the World Health Organization. "Mesothelioma is a very difficult cancer to diagnose early, and some patients may die two weeks after the diagnosis and live up to nine months, similar to my mother's situation at the time, and I wanted to study what could be done." Zheng Wanyi said.

The scientific life in Australia is simple and focused, Zheng Wanyi has extensively studied the diagnosis and formation mechanism of lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and other cancers, and her favorite thing is to soak in the laboratory. "I don't remember my birthday, and I only remember driving from home to the lab." Zheng Wanyi told reporters with a smile that if she went home and saw her family full of hearty food on the table, she would realize that her birthday might be here.

In early 2021, a friend sent Zheng Wanyi a small bottle of white manuka plant extract powder QV0, hoping that she would use mice to test an extract of an Australian manuka plant discovered by her company in collaboration with Professor Quan Vuong of Newcastle University in Australia.

After Zheng Wanyi proved the safety of QV0 as food through animal experiments, she took the mentality of trying these extracts and applied these extracts to cancer research.

Traditional radiation therapy and chemotherapy can damage healthy cells. After several rounds of mouse experiments, Zheng Wanyi believes that QV0 can effectively inhibit cancer cells at a lower concentration, while not attacking healthy cells, and will only destroy healthy cells after increasing the concentration of QV0 by more than ten times.

She said she expects more data through clinical trials in the next step. "As our research becomes more mature, we hope to bring our research to China and collaborate more with Chinese scientists." Zheng Wanyi said. (End)