Beating cancer with green tea

The next big cancer "wonder drug" is sitting in your cupboard right now.

You already know how green tea can help slash your risk of getting the disease in the first place. But now, researchers are on the verge of a breakthrough that could transform one of the antioxidants in green tea from a "risk reducer" to a cold-blooded killer.

Killer of tumors, that is.

The antioxidant is EGCG. That's short for epigallocatechin gallate, so let's stick to calling it EGCG, which we've always known is great at wiping out tumors.

Trouble is, it's downright awful with directions.

When EGCG is swallowed or delivered intravenously, it doesn't go right to the tumor. It goes everywhere -- getting so lost along the way that the little bit that eventually makes it to the scene of the cancer isn't nearly enough to put up a fight.

Iron, on the other hand, makes a beeline for tumors -- and researchers have now found a way to attach EGCG to the protein that carries the iron.

The result is a tumor-seeking missile.

In a series of lab experiments, the new targeted treatment caused tumors to shrink and even vanish. In one test, 40 percent of skin tumors were wiped out while another 30 percent shrank -- all in the space of just a single month.

Chemo only wishes it was that effective!

Of course, that's an experiment in a lab. And since researchers are still tweaking this new approach, human trials could still be some ways off.

In the meantime, brew yourself a cup of green tea -- it might not go right to the tumor, but it could still fight cancer, protect the heart, and even help you to live longer.