Hemp shows strong potential for treating cancer

Hemp shows strong potential for treating cancer

Hemp shows strong potential for treating cancer

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer.

KY Hemp-induced Modulation of Ovarian Cancer Cell Metastasis: Sara Biela, Annie Wang, and Wasana K. Sumanasekera The FASEB Journal 2018 32:1_supplement, 667.7-667.7

Scientists halt breast cancer spread

Scientists halt breast cancer spread

 

Scientists have discovered that an amino acid called asparagine is essential for breast cancer spread, and by restricting it, cancer cells stopped invading other parts of the body in mice, according to new research.

Citation: Asparagine bioavailability governs metastasis in a model of breast cancer. Nature, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/nature25465

Asparagine, breast cancer, head cancer, neck cancer, spread, metastasis, halt, diet

Curcumin curbs metastases

Munich, 10/12/2012

Powdered turmeric has been used for centuries to treat osteoarthritis and other illnesses. Its active ingredient, curcumin, inhibits inflammatory reactions. A new study now shows that it can also inhibit formation of metastases. Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies in the Western world, and is often diagnosed only after metastatic tumors have formed in other organs. In three percent of cases, these metastases are lethal. A research team led by PD Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier at LMU Munich has been studying the mode of action of a natural product that inhibits the formation of metastases. The compound is found in turmeric, a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and is a major ingredient of curry.

Bachmeier’s research centers on curcumin, the polyphenol responsible for the characteristic color of curry. Curcumin is well tolerated and is therefore, in principle, suitable both for prophylactic use (primary prevention) and also for the suppression of metastases in cases where an established tumor is already present (secondary prevention). In a previous study Bachmeier and her colleagues had demonstrated that the substance reduces statistically significantly the formation of lung metastases in an animal model of advanced breast cancer.

Mitigating metastasis

The new study was designed to investigate the efficacy of curcumin in the prevention of prostate cancer metastases, and to determine the agent’s mechanism of action. The researchers first examined the molecular processes that are abnormally regulated in prostate carcinoma cells. Breast and prostate cancers are often associated with latent or chronic inflammatory reactions, and in both cases, the tumor cells were found to produce pro-inflammatory immunomodulators including the cytokines CXCL1 und CXCL2.

The researchers went on to show that curcumin specifically decreases the expression of these two proteins, and in a mouse model, this effect correlated with a decline in the incidence of metastases. “Due to the action of curcumin, the tumor cells synthesize smaller amounts of cytokines that promote metastasis,” says Bachmeier. “As a consequence, the frequency of metastasis formation in the lungs is significantly reduced, in animals with breast cancer, as we showed previously, or carcinoma of the prostate, as demonstrated in our new study.”

Curcumin and chemoprevention

Bachmeier therefore believes that curcumin may be useful in the prevention of breast and prostate cancers – which are both linked to inflammation – and in reducing their metastatic potential. “This does not mean that the compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies. However, it could play a positive role in primary prevention – before a full-blown tumor arises – or help to avert formation of metastases. In this context the fact that the substance is well tolerated is very important, because one can safely recommend it to individuals who have an increased tumor risk.”

A daily intake of up to 8g of curcumin is regarded as safe, and its anti-inflammatory properties have long been exploited in traditional oriental medicine. Men with benign hyperplasia of the prostate (BHP) are one possible target group for prophylaxis, as are women who have a family history of breast cancer. The agent might also be valuable as a supplement to certain cancer therapies. At all events, curcumin’s beneficial effects must first be confirmed in controlled clinical tests. Bachmeier is now planning such a trial in patients who suffer from therapy-resistant carcinoma of the prostate.

(Carcinogenesis online, 5 October 2012) bedo / suwe

Standard treatment for prostate cancer may encourage spread of disease

Contact: Christen Brownlee cbrownlee@jhmi.edu 410-955-7832 Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Finding may lead to changes in androgen deprivation therapy

A popular prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy may encourage prostate cancer cells to produce a protein that makes them more likely to spread throughout the body, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests.

Although the finding could eventually lead to changes in this standard treatment for a sometimes deadly disease, the Johns Hopkins researchers caution that their discovery is far too preliminary for prostate cancer patients or physicians to stop using it. The therapy is effective at slowing tumor growth, they emphasized.

David Berman, an assistant professor of pathology, urology and oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his colleagues identified the unsuspected potential problem with treatments that suppress testosterone after discovering that the gene that codes for the protein, called nestin, was active in lab-grown human prostate cancer cells.

Curious about whether prostate cancer cells in people also produce nestin, the researchers looked for it in cells taken from men who had surgery to remove locally confined cancers of their prostates and found none. But when they looked for nestin in prostate cancer cells isolated from patients who had died of metastatic prostate cancer – in which cancer cells spread out from the prostate tumor –  they found substantial evidence that the nestin gene was active.

What was different, Berman speculated, is that androgen deprivation therapy, a treatment that reduces testosterone in the body, is generally given only when prostate cancers become aggressive and likely to metastasize.

Because prostate cancer growth is typically stimulated by testosterone, the treatment is thought to slow tumor growth and weaken the disease.  Patients who eventually die because their disease metastasizes are almost certain to have received this type of therapy, he says.

Speculating that depriving cells of androgens might also, however, affect nestin expression, the researchers experimented on a prostate cancer cell line that depends on androgens to grow.  When they removed androgens from the chemical mixture that the cells live in, their production of nestin increased.

Aware that the nestin gene has long been suggested to play some role in cell growth and development, Berman and his colleagues used a bit of laboratory sabotage called RNA interference to decrease the genetic expression of nestin and  found that these cells weren’t able to move around and through other cells nearly as well as cells with normal nestin levels.

Prostate cancer cells with hampered nestin expression were also less likely than normal prostate cancer cells to migrate to other parts of the body when transplanted into mice.  However, while nestin expression seemed pivotal for metastasis in these experiments, it didn’t seem to make a difference in tumor growth.

“What all this suggests is that nestin levels increased when prostate cancer cells are deprived of androgens and may encourage the cells to metastasize,” says Berman.

###

Besides Berman, other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in this study were Wolfram Kleeberger, M.D., G. Steven Bova, M.D., Matthew E. Nielsen, M.D., Mehsati Herawi, M.D., Ph.D., Ai-Ying Chuang, M.D., and Jonathan I. Epstein, M.D.

The research, published in the Oct. 1 issue of Cancer Research, was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Evensen Family Foundation, and German Cancer Aid Foundation.

* Requested repost