The Happy Tree, Cancer Tree
, or Tree of Life (Camptotheca
) is a genus of medium-sized deciduous trees growing to 20 m tall, native to central China. They are usually included in the tupelo family Nyssaceae, but sometimes included (with the tupelos) in the dogwood family Cornaceae. Camptotheca
is used to make Irinotecan, Topotecan, 9-Aminocamptothecin, and camptothecin-1 (CPT-1).
There are two species: Camptotheca
acuminata Decne, and Camptotheca
lowreyana S.Y.Li. The name 'happy tree' is a direct translation of the Chinese name xi shu. An extract from the tree (camptothecin
) is used as an anti-cancer treatment.