Navigation Links
Traditional herbal medicine kills pancreatic cancer cells, Jefferson researchers report

(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
Thomas Jefferson University

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:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to ... are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses ... , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners, the industry leader ... Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents and school athletic departments ... people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the assets of Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains ... low-wattage personal heaters that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the ... Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced ... in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for ... years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Brain Monitoring ... offering. --> ) has ... Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail ... outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, said today ... Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally ... --> --> The ... its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MELVILLE, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry ... products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal ... Dental (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion ... industry,s broadest array of open solutions designed to help ... Click here for a schedule of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: