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Karmanos Researchers Report Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells by Black Seed Component
Date:4/13/2008

SAN DIEGO, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute researchers today presented, at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego, CA, the potential benefits of Thymoquinone (TQ), a compound present in the oil of black seeds (Nigella sativa), in treating pancreatic cancer.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071106/KARMANOSCANCERINSTITUTELOGO )

For centuries, these black seeds have been consumed in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to promote health and fight disease. TQ, an active component of the seeds, has been isolated for its promise as a chemopreventative agent. Pancreatic cancer cells currently have a high degree of inherent and acquired chemoresistance to standard chemotherapy agents Gemcitabine and/or Oxaliplatin, making these drugs only moderately effective.

"Our goal with this study was to increase the effectiveness of current pancreatic cancer treatments with a naturally occurring substance," said Sanjeev Banerjee, Ph.D., researcher, working under the leadership of Fazlul Sarkar, Ph.D., professor of pathology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University. "We also explored the molecular mechanisms associated with TQ to promote better therapeutic outcomes."

Drs. Banerjee and Sarkar, along with Karmanos researchers Ramzi Mohammad, Ph.D. and Zhiwei Wang, Ph.D., pre-treated pancreatic tumor cells possessing different molecular signatures (HPAC, BxPC-3, Panc-1 and MDA Panc-28, COLO 357, L3.6pl), with TQ prior to administering Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin. They found that TQ significantly enhanced the chemosensitivity of the tumor cells, making the Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin agents more effective in treating the cancer. The TQ pre-treatment improved the drugs' effect on promoting cancer cell death and halting tumor cell growth.


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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
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