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Black Seed may have the ability to help inhibit the spread of pancreatic cancer according to an animal study

Nov 01, 2011

 In an orthotropic model a human cancer is successfully implanted in laboratory animals in the same exact site it occurs in humans. In this study the pancreatic cancerous tumor tissue was implanted in the pancreas wall in an orthotropic model using nude mice. Nude mice are bred to lack an immune system making them perfect for cancer research since the cancer implants successfully.

Some of the mice were given Thymoquinone, an active ingredient in the herb Black Seed and some were not supplemented. Giving the Black Seed ingredient greatly inhibited metastasis of the cancer (the spread of the cancer to other sites in the body). Also, inflammatory factors involved with the growth and spread of the cancer were significantly reduced (they are known as NF-kappaB and MMP-9).

InVite has previously published the following related studies on www.invitehealth.com :

Radio Study for:
July 13, 2009

Chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer possibly enhanced with Black Seed ingredient
Researchers at the Department of Pathology and Division of Hematology and Oncology, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center note that Thymoquinone, an active compound extracted from Nigella sativa (Black Seed) battles pancreatic cancer cells; however, preclinical animal studies are lacking.

Here, they report, for the first time, the chemo-sensitizing effect of Thymoquinone to conventional chemotherapeutic agents both in vitro and in vivo using an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer (human pancreatic cancer was implanted in the animals in the same region it commonly occurs in the human body). In vitro studies revealed that exposing the pancreatic cancer cells to Thymoquinone (25 micromol/L) for 48 hours before exposing them to chemo improved the cancer fighting power of commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs. The cells were treated with the Black Seed ingredient followed by the drugs gemcitabine (Gemzar) or oxaliplatin. Pretreatment with Black Seeds Thymoquinone before chemo resulted in 60% to 80% growth inhibition compared with 15% to 25% when gemcitabine or oxaliplatin was used alone.

Technical info; the researchers found that Thymoquinone could potentiate the killing of pancreatic cancer cells induced by chemotherapeutic agents by down-regulation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), Bcl-2 family, and NF-kappaB-dependent antiapoptotic genes (X-linked inhibitors of apoptosis, survivin, and cyclooxygenase-2). As shown previously by our laboratory, NF-kappaB gets activated on exposure of pancreatic cancer cells to conventional chemotherapeutic agents; interestingly, Thymoquinone was able to down-regulate NF-kappaB in vitro, resulting in chemo-sensitization. In addition to in vitro results, here we show for the first time, that Thymoquinone in combination with gemcitabine and/or oxaliplatin is much more effective as an antitumor agent compared with either agent alone.

In the second part of the study and most importantly, their data also showed that a specific target, such as NF-kappaB, was inactivated in animal tumors pretreated with Thymoquinone followed by gemcitabine and/or oxaliplatin. These results provide strong in vivo molecular evidence in support of their hypothesis that Thymoquinone could abrogate gemcitabine- or oxaliplatin-induced activation of NF-kappaB, resulting in the chemo-sensitization of pancreatic tumors to conventional therapeutics. The study is published online ahead of print on June 23rd, 2009 in the journal Cancer Research.

Radio Study for:
April 20, 2009
Black seed Herb inhibits the development of pancreatic cancer
Black seed is an herb that in a previous study was found to kill pancreatic cancer cells. Black seed also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson; a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center.

Thymoquinone, the major constituent of the oil extract from this Middle Eastern herbal seed called Black seed (Nigella sativa), exhibited anti-inflammatory properties that reduced the release of inflammatory mediators in pancreatic cancer cells, according to Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and a member of the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary & Related Cancers Center.

Nigella sativa seeds and oil are used in traditional medicine by many Middle Eastern and Asian countries. It helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders, Dr. Arafat said. Previous studies have also shown it to have anti-cancer effects on prostate and colon cancers.
Based upon their previously published findings that Thymoquinone inhibits histone deacetylases (HDACs), Dr. Arafat and her colleagues compared the anti-inflammatory properties of Thymoquinone and trichostatin A, an HDAC inhibitor that has previously shown to ameliorate inflammation-associated cancers. The researchers used pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells, some of which were pretreated with the cytokine TNF-alpha to trigger inflammation. Thymoquinone almost completely abolished the expression of several inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-alpha, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-8, Cox-2 and MCP-1, an effect that was more superior to the effect of trichostatin A.

The herb also inhibited the activation and synthesis of NF-kappaB, a transcription factor that has been implicated in inflammation-associated cancer. Activation of NF-kappaB has been observed in pancreatic cancer and may be a factor in pancreatic cancer’s resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. When animal models of pancreatic cancer were treated with Thymoquinone, 67 percent of the tumors were significantly shrunken, and the levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the tumors were significantly reduced.

Inflammation has been implicated in the development of several solid tumor malignancies. Chronic pancreatitis, both hereditary and sporadic, is associated with the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

“These are very exciting and novel results,” Dr. Arafat said. “Not only patients with chronic pancreatitis could benefit from this, but also several other groups with risk of development or recurrence of pancreatic cancer, such as high-risk family members and post-surgical patients. These potent effects show promise for the herb as a potential preventive and therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer. More importantly, the herb and oil are safe when used moderately, and have been used for thousands of years without reported toxic effects.”
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with approximately 32,000 deaths a year. Only five percent of individuals with pancreatic cancer live for at least one year after diagnosis. The data is being presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 which is going on in Denver (AACR = American Association for Cancer Research).