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Green tea may support standard therapies for GI cancer; inhibiting colon and stomach cancer and supporting their treatment

May 23, 2008

Researchers tested the effect of an aqueous extract of Green Tea on six cancerous human stomach tissues and six non-cancerous adjacent tissues. They also tested the Green Tea Extract on seven cancerous colon tissues and seven non-cancerous adjacent colon tissues. The tissues were exposed to no extract, or concentrations of 0.05 percent or 1.25 percent Green Tea Extract for one hour. The indication was that Green Tea Extract was increasing the destruction of all cancer samples by improving their destruction through the generation of free radicals. The indication was that Green Tea Extract was also inhibiting the growth of the cancer samples. "Our study suggests that green tea consumption may promote cancer-preventive effects in people at risk for cancer, in addition to supporting the medical treatment of some kinds of cancers," the authors conclude. The study is published in the May/June 2008 issue of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

Curcumin and cancer: An "old-age" disease with an "age-old" solution

     Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston write that cancer is primarily a disease of old age, and that it is now well recognized that life style plays a major role in the development of most cancers. While plant-based formulations have been used to treat cancer for centuries, current treatments usually involve poisonous mustard gas, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapies. While traditional plant-derived medicines are safe, the question of what are the active principles in them and how do they mediate their effects against cancer is perhaps best illustrated by Curcumin, a derivative of Turmeric used for centuries to treat a wide variety of inflammatory conditions.                                                                                                          

     Curcumin is a diferuloylmethane derived from the Indian spice, Turmeric (popularly called "curry powder") that has been shown to interfere with multiple cell signaling pathways, including cell cycle (cyclin D1 and cyclin E), apoptosis or triggering the death and destruction of cancerous growths (activation of caspases or cellular executioners and down-regulation of antiapoptotic gene products that protect the cancers from destruction), proliferation (HER-2, EGFR, and AP-1), survival (PI3K/AKT pathway), invasion (MMP-9 and adhesion molecules), angiogenesis (VEGF or creating a blood supply to feed the cancer and allowing it to travel), metastasis (CXCR-4) and inflammation (NF-kappaB, TNF, IL-6, IL-1, COX-2, and 5-LOX).

     The activity of Curcumin reported against leukemia and lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, melanoma, neurological cancers, and sarcoma reflects its ability to affect multiple targets. Thus an "old-age" disease such as cancer requires an "age-old" treatment. The review is published in the May 5th, 2008 issue of Cancer Letters.

Curcumin inhibits proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of different cancers through interaction with multiple cell signaling proteins and genes

     Because most cancers are caused by dysregulation of as many as 500 different genes, agents that target multiple gene products are needed for prevention and treatment of cancer. Curcumin, a yellow coloring agent in Turmeric, has been shown to interact with a wide variety of proteins and modify their expression and activity. These include inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, transcription factors, and gene products linked with cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis.                                     

     Scientists from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston

State that Curcumin has been found to inhibit the proliferation of various tumor cells in culture, prevents carcinogen-induced cancers in rodents, and inhibits the growth of human tumors in xenotransplant or orthotransplant animal models either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents or radiation. Several phase I and phase II clinical trials indicate that Curcumin is quite safe and may exhibit therapeutic efficacy. The review is published in the May 12th 2008 issue of Cancer Letters.