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Qatar research on plant-derived breast cancer therapies

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-01-25  Views: 3
Core Tip: Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) have published an in-depth study reviewing the effectiveness of plant-derived therapies at fighting the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) have published an in-depth study reviewing the effectiveness of plant-derived therapies at fighting the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. The paper is entitled The “Yin and Yang” of Natural Compounds in Anticancer Therapy of Triple-Negative Breast Cancers.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Dietrich Büsselberg, professor of Physiology and Biophysics, reviewed more than 350 scientific studies to identify which plant-derived therapies have anti-cancer properties that could potentially be used to treat so-called ‘triple-negative breast cancers’. These cancers are known to be highly aggressive, do not respond to conventional hormone-based therapies, tend to spread, to recur and develop drug resistance at high rates.

The researchers investigated existing research on natural compounds with anticancer potential such as luteolin (found in many herbs and vegetables), curcumin (found in turmeric), capsaicin (chili pepper extract), rutin (plentiful in apples, figs and citrus fruits), among many others.

Albawaba.com quoted Dr. Büsselberg as saying: “It is proven that consumption of many different fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer, but the research on plant-based therapies and naturally occurring compounds is widely scattered and consequently cumbersome and time-consuming to assimilate."

“Our aim with this manuscript was to pull a wide range of the best of these studies together in one place, analyse them and draw conclusions about the efficacy of plant-based therapies. Our hope is that this will facilitate the targeting of research and ultimately the use of those plant-based therapies that the evidence suggests improve outcomes for patients with TNBCs.”

There was an exhaustive review of 353 scientific papers on 14 different plant-based compounds found in a wide variety of plants. Natural compounds with anti-cancer properties work by modulating different cell signaling ‘pathways’ that are involved in the growth of cancer cells.

For each compound, the research team analyzed which signaling pathways they affect, and found that 13 of the 14 compounds investigated had anti-cancer properties for TNBCs.

These compounds were found in a long list of plants: broccoli, green chili, onions, onion leaves, radishes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, shallots, apples, kiwis, citrus, beans, cucumbers, turmeric, soybeans, red grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pepper, some legumes, tolypocladium (a fungus) and corn lily, the last of which is mildly toxic.

 
 
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