The University of Windsor has a page about the Dandelion Root Project:
Since the commencement of this project, we have been able to successfully assess the effect of a simple water extract of dandelion root in various human cancer cell types, in the lab and we have observed its effectiveness against human T cell leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, pancreatic and colon cancers, with no toxicity to non-cancer cells. Furthermore, these efficacy studies have been confirmed in animal models (mice) that have been transplanted with human colon cancer cells.
We also applied for Phase I clinical trials in 2012 for the use of DRE in hematological cancers and in November 2012, we obtained approval for the administration of DRE in human patients and currently, the dandelion root extract is under Phase 1 clinical trials for drug refractory blood cancers.
There is still more research to be done, and results in human patients can differ significantly from lab and animal models. Regardless, we are happy to see this research being done at all. Herbs are very neglected as compared to pharmaceuticals in the academic setting.
The Canadian Broadcasting Association also has a story about this research: Cancer-killing dandelion tea gets $157K research grant
“Other inulin-containing plants, such as dandelion root and elecampagne, are widely used as blood purifiers or tonics.” – Paul Bergner
Herbs are rarely used in isolation by herbalists unlike how they are studied in an academic setting. We hope to see research with herbal protocols put in place by experienced, practicing herbologists.