SINGAPORE -- Two common dietary molecules found in legumes and bran could protect DNA from the harmful effects of radiation, researchers from the University of Maryland report. Inositol and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) protected both human skin cells and a skin cancer-prone mouse from exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the damaging radiation found in sunlight, the team reported today at the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine.
According to the researchers, inositol and IP6 could decrease the severity of side effects from radiation therapy, saving healthy cells while simultaneously increasing the potency of the treatment against cancer cells. Both molecules are potent antioxidants, the Maryland researchers say, capable of preventing reactive molecules from injuring DNA and turning cells cancerous.
Both of these potent antioxidants have been shown to have broad-spectrum anti-tumor capabilities, and now our studies confirm the degree to which these molecules protect against the DNA-damaging effects of ionizing radiation, said Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin, M.D., professor of pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Radiation damage is radiation damage, regardless of the source, so there could also be a protective role for IP6 in any form of radiation exposure, whether it is from a therapeutic dose or from solar, cosmic or nuclear sources.
While both inositol and IP6 are related to B vitamins, they are not considered essential dietary nutrients. In the 1980s, however, researchers discovered that these molecules, abundant within the hulls of seeds and grains, had definitive protective effects against colorectal cancer.
Inspired by reports of a clinical trial begun in 2001 at Clinical Hospital in Split, Croatia, which suggested IP6 enhanced the effectiveness of radiotherapy while lessening the side effects, Shamsuddin and his colleagues sought to inve
|Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg|
American Association for Cancer Research