Navigation Links
Traditional herbal medicine kills pancreatic cancer cells, Jefferson researchers report
Date:5/19/2008

(PHILADELPHIA) An herb used in traditional medicine by many Middle Eastern countries may help in the fight against pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer at Jefferson in Philadelphia have found that thymoquinone, an extract of nigella sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death.

While the studies are in the early stages, the findings suggest that thymoquinone could eventually have some use as a preventative strategy in patients who have gone through surgery and chemotherapy or in individuals who are at a high risk of developing cancer.

According to Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, nigella sativa helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders. Previous studies also have shown anticancer activity in prostate and colon cancers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Using a human pancreatic cancer cell line, she and her team found that adding thymoquinone killed approximately 80 percent of the cancer cells. They demonstrated that thymoquinone triggered programmed cell death in the cells, and that a number of important genes, including p53, Bax, bcl-2 and p21, were affected. The researchers found that expression of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, and Bax, a gene that promotes programmed cell death, was increased, while bcl-2, which blocks such cell death, was decreased. The p21 gene, which is involved in the regulation of different phases of the cell cycle, was substantially increased. She presents her findings May 18 at the Digestive Disease Week in San Diego.

Dr. Arafat and her co-workers also found that thymoquinone caused epigenetic changes in pancreatic cancer cells, modifying the cells DNA. She explains that these changes involve adding acetyl groups to the DNA structure, specifically to blocks of proteins called histones. This acetylation process can be important for genes to be read and translated into proteins. In this case, it could involve the genes that are key to initiating programmed cell death.

We looked at the status of the histones and found surprisingly that thymoquinone increased the acetylation process, Dr. Arafat says. We never anticipated that.

At the same time, adding thymoquinone to pancreatic cancer cells reduced the production and activity of enzymes called histone deacetylases (HDACs), which remove the acetyl groups from the histone proteins, halting the gene transcription process. Dr. Arafat notes that HDAC inhibitors are a hot new class of drugs that interfere with the function of histone deacetylases, and is being studied as a treatment for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Finding that thymoquinone functions as an HDAC inhibitor, she says, was very remarkable and really exciting.

Pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in this country, takes some 34,000 lives a year. The disease frequently is detected after it has spread and only 4 percent of individuals with pancreatic cancer live for five years after diagnosis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Newer Prostate Cancer Treatment Similar to Traditional Surgery
2. Traditional Medicare Benefit Information Soon to be Available Online to Doctors and Hospitals through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Web Portal
3. PPO Industry Calls for Increased Collaboration Among Non-Traditional Allies
4. Remembering Non-Traditional Moms on Mothers Day
5. Inhaled tuberculosis vaccine more effective than traditional shot
6. Video: New Survey Shows Young Women Turn to Traditional Values in Life, Relationships and Health
7. Proteomic profiling shown more accurate than traditional biomarkers in identifying liver cancer
8. Wai Wai choose conservation economy for traditional Amazon territory
9. Nurses play a key role in police custody suites, complementing the traditional role of doctors
10. MJGC Hosts Traditional Atonement Services
11. USDA Grants Organic Certification to Ayalas Herbal Water(TM)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... According to an ... are beginning to account for a significant portion of hernia repairs throughout the United ... the Beverly Hills Hernia Center notes that this trend has not only been expected, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. – ... who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , An analysis of CDRH’s ... But that takes time. , Take a close look at the warning letters the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... announced that nominations have closed for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and ... announced at the ISE® Southeast Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, ... is initiating a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and ... Tayloe Elementary School. , “My school is in a low-income area and has more ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that heals lives ... San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Under the collaboration, the first of its kind, specific ... a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery of organs. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, surgeons at ... North Austin Medical Center successfully completed the first robotic ... Surgical System with Trumpf Medical,s advanced operating table, ... , M.D., colorectal surgeon at the Texas Institute for ... Motion technology, which seamlessly combines the da Vinci Xi ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , 12 februari 2016 AAIPharma ... toonaangevende leverancier van productie en ontwikkeling op ... kondigt vandaag een uitbreiding aan van steriele ... locatie in Charleston, SC ... tot meerdere recente investeringen. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150806/256637LOGO ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016 The primary goal ... future adoption patterns on the usage of liquid biopsy. ... following: - Timeframe of liquid biopsy adoption ... cfDNA and Evs—by organization type - Sample inflow to ... blood, saliva, stool, serum, and so on. - Correlation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: