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Medicineworld.org: Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer

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Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer




Compounds in cranberries may help improve the effectiveness of platinum drugs that are used in chemotherapy to fight ovary cancer, scientists have found in a laboratory study that will be reported today at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The researchers demonstrated in cell culture studies that human ovary cancer cells resistant to platinum drugs became up to 6 times more sensitized to the drugs after exposure to the cranberry compounds compared to cells that were not exposed to the compounds, which were obtained from juice extracts.



Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer
Drinking cranberry juice may help improve the effectiveness of platinum drugs that are used in chemotherapy to fight ovarian cancer, researchers report.

Credit: Courtesy of The Cranberry Institute.

Eventhough preliminary, the findings have the potential to save lives and reduce the harmful side effects linked to using high doses of platinum drugs for the therapy of ovary cancer, the scientists say, adding that human studies are still needed. The new study adds to a growing number of potential health benefits associated with cranberries.

For the first time, we have shown in our in vitro studies that cranberry extracts can sensitize resistant human ovary cancer cell lines, say study co-presenters Ajay P. Singh, Ph.D., and Nicholi Vorsa, Ph.D., natural products chemists at Rutgers University. This has opened up exciting possibilities for therapeutic intervention linked to platinum treatment, add Singh and Vorsa, who collaborated with colleagues Laurent Brard, M.D., Ph.D, Rakesh K. Singh, and K.S.Satyan, Ph.D., of Brown University.

But the scientists caution that the study is experimental and that patients with ovary cancer should always consult with their physicians before trying any type of anti-cancer treatment. Ovary cancer is the seventh most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chemotherapy using platinum drugs, including cisplatin and paraplatin, is a mainstay therapy for ovary cancer. However, cancer cells tend to develop resistance to platinum treatment and higher doses of the drugs can cause unwanted side-effects, including nerve damage and kidney failure.

The new study focused on cranberry juice because of past research suggesting that the juice has a wide range of potential health benefits, including the ability to fight urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers, and cancer. Singh and his associates obtained ovary cancer cells that were relatively resistant to platinum. They treated the cells with various doses of a purified extract of commercially available cranberry drink (containing 27 percent pure juice), exposed the cells to the platinum drug paraplatin and compared them to cells that were not exposed to the extract.

Paraplatin killed 6 times more cancer cells that were pre-treated with juice extract in comparison to cells that were exposed to the cancer drug alone, the scientists say. The extract also slowed the growth and spread of some cancer cells. The maximum amount of juice extract given to the cells was the human equivalent of about a cup of cranberry juice, as per the researchers.

Singh and his colleagues think that the active compounds in the extract are powerful antioxidants called A-type proanthocyanidins that are unique to cranberries and not found in other fruits. The scientists add that they do not understand exactly how the cranberry compounds work. However, based on research by other groups, these compounds appear to bind to and block certain tumor promoter proteins found in the ovary cancer cells, they say. The result is that the cancer cells become more vulnerable to attack from the platinum drugs, the researchers say, noting that the cranberry compounds are not a cure for cancer.

The scientists hope to eventually identify the most active anti-cancer fractions of the cranberry extract and determine the optimal dose for effectiveness against ovary cancer. Theoretically, a therapeutic compound made from cranberry extract could be used as part of an injectable chemotherapy regimen or as a beverage supplement to be consumed during chemotherapy, says Singh. Animal studies will begin soon and a new treatment could one day be available to consumers if further testing proves successful, he says.

For now, the scientists recommend that those with ovarian and other types of cancer seek their physicians advice for the most effective therapy options. The current study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Compounds in cranberries may help improve the effectiveness of platinum drugs that are used in chemotherapy to fight ovary cancer, scientists have found in a laboratory study that will be reported today at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The researchers demonstrated in cell culture studies that human ovary cancer cells resistant to platinum drugs became up to 6 times more sensitized to the drugs after exposure to the cranberry compounds compared to cells that were not exposed to the compounds, which were obtained from juice extracts.

Medicineworld.org: Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer

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