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Green Tea, Fruit Extracts Touted as Potential Cancer Fighters
Date:12/6/2007

Preliminary research shows promise against colorectal, prostate and oral tumors

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A gel derived from black raspberries, a fruit beverage and old-fashioned green tea all hold potential promise as ways to treat or prevent different types of cancer, preliminary research suggests.

"Until now, foods have not been considered good treatments for chronic illness, especially tackling tumors," Greg Jardine, a biochemist at Dr. Red Nutraceuticals in Australia, said at a teleconference Thursday. In fact, "foods can be medicine," added Jardine, co-author of a manufacturer-funded study of a "punch" that appeared to reduce the growth of prostate cancer in mice.

In addition to Jardine's study, two others -- one with people and one with rats -- suggest that a black raspberry gel can reduce oral cancer lesions and green tea can prevent colorectal cancer.

The studies, which are all small and need further confirmation, were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Sixth Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, which runs through Dec. 8 in Philadelphia.

Researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky are using a gel made of extracts from black raspberries to treat oral lesions, which often begin as growths inside the mouth and threaten to turn into major tumors.

"About 36 percent will progress to oral squamous cell carcinoma, but, at this point, we don't have the molecular tools to determine which ones will go on to malignancy," said Dr. Susan Mallery, a professor in the Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery and Pathology at Ohio State University's College of Dentistry.

About 7,500 people in the United States die each year of oral cancer, according to American Cancer Society statistics, and 34,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.

The researchers assigned 30 patients -- 20 with precan
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