Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Primrose oil component cuts levels of cancer-causing gene Her-2/neu

02.11.2005


Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a substance in evening primrose oil and several other plant oils used in herbal medicine, inhibits action of Her-2/neu, a cancer gene that is responsible for almost 30 percent of all breast cancers, Northwestern University researchers report.



"Breast cancer patients with Her-2/neu-positive tumors have an aggressive form of the disease and a poor prognosis," said Ruth Lupu, director of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Breast Cancer Translational Research Program, who led the study, published in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Lupu is professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a researcher at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.


Lupu and co-investigator Javier Menendez showed that treating cancer cells that overexpressed Her-2/neu with GLA not only suppressed protein levels of the oncogene, but also caused a 30- to 40-fold increased response in breast cancer cells to the drug HerpetinTM (trastuzumab), a monoclonal antibody that is used for the treatment of many women with breast cancer.

Menendez is research assistant professor of medicine at Feinberg and a scientist at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute.

"In our tests, treating the cancer cell lines with both GLA and Herceptin led to a synergistic increase in apoptosis [cell death] and reduced cancer growth. Therefore, although further studies are necessary before GLA can enter clinical trials, these findings may reveal a previously unrecognized way of influencing the poor outcome of Her-2/neu-positive cancer patients," Lupu said. "GLA’s inhibition of Her-2/neu works in a different manner from that of Herceptin," Menendez said.

"While Herceptin attempts to neutralize thousands of Her-2/neu molecules commonly found in the surface of overexpressing cancer cells, GLA would be more efficient to reduce Her-2/neu levels by preventing the transcription of few Her-2/neu gene copies," Menendez said. "Considering that activation and overexpression of the Her-2/neu oncogene are crucial events in the cause, progression and cell sensitivity to various treatments in breast cancer, results of the study showed reveal a valuable means by which an inexpensive herbal medicine might regulate might regulate breast cancer cell growth, metastasis formation and response to chemotherapies and endocrine therapies," Lupu said.

GLA exerts selective toxic effects on cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Menendez’s earlier research showed that supplementation with GLA sensitizes breast cancer cells to some chemotherapeutic drugs, such as paclitaxel (TaxolTM), docetaxel (TaxotereTM) and vinorelbine (NavelbineTM). Lupu and Menendez recently demonstrated that GLA also enhances the efficacy of anti-estrogens, such as tamoxifen and FaslodexTM.

"Since overexpression of Her-2/neu generally confers resistance to chemo- and endocrine therapies, our current findings can explain why GLA increases the efficacy of breast cancer treatments," Menendez said.

GLA is one of two essential fatty acids – fats that are necessary for maintaining normal functioning and growth of cells, nerves, muscles and organs. Besides evening primrose oil, other sources of GLAs include borage oil and black current seed oil.

Besides Menendez, other authors on the study were Luciano Vellon, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute; and Ramon Colomer, head of the medical oncology division at the Institut Catala d’Oncologia, Girona, Spain.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht High-Speed Locomotion Neurons Found in the Brainstem
24.10.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise
24.10.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single nanoparticle mapping paves the way for better nanotechnology

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A quantum spin liquid

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>