Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ancient Chinese medicine put through its paces for pancreatic cancer

03.03.2014

The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.

The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.

UT Health Science Center researcher A. Pratap Kumar was already exploring the cork tree extract's promise in treating prostate cancer when his team found that deadly pancreatic cancers share some similar development pathways with prostate tumors.

... more about:
»CTRC »Cancer »Health »cancer »drugs »fibrosis »pancreatic »pathways »prostate »tumors

In a paper published today in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers show that the extract blocks those pathways and inhibits the scarring that thwarts anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Jingjing Gong, currently pursuing post-doctoral studies at Yale University, conducted the study as a graduate student in Dr Kumar's laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology.

"Fibrosis is a process of uncontrolled scarring around the tumor gland," said Dr. Kumar, a professor of urology in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center and the study's principal investigator. "Once you have fibrotic tissue, the drugs cannot get into the cancer."

Liver and kidney tumors also develop fibrosis and the resulting resistance to drugs, he said, and there are no drugs currently targeting that pathway in those cancers.

The two pathways, or proteins, that contribute to fibrosis in those tumors also encourage Cox-2, an enzyme that causes inflammation, and the cork tree extract appears to suppress that as well, Dr. Kumar said. The complex interrelationship of these substances is "the million-dollar question," he said, and solving that question is one of the next steps in his research.

The potential of natural substances to treat and cure disease has great appeal, but the advantage of cork tree extract, available as a dietary supplement in capsule form, is that it already has been established as safe for use in patients. In a promising prostate cancer clinical study of 24 patients that Dr. Kumar helped spearhead, all the patients tolerated the treatment well, he said. Now researchers are analyzing the results, he said, and with more funding they plan to expand the study to a much larger group of patients.

The dietary supplement is marketed as Nexrutine by Next Pharmaceuticals of Salinas, Calif., which provided a supply of the compound for the studies. 

For current news from the UT Health Science Center, please visit our news release website or follow us on Twitter @uthscsa.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit http://www.ctrc.net.

Elizabeth Allen | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: CTRC Cancer Health cancer drugs fibrosis pancreatic pathways prostate tumors

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Activity level may predict orthopedic outcomes
23.07.2014 | American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

nachricht New accurate epigenetic test could eliminate unnecessary repeat biopsies for prostate cancer
22.07.2014 | Elsevier Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lens on Life” - Artists and Scientists Explore Cell Divison

08.07.2014 | Event News

First International Conference on Consumer Research | ICCR 2014: Early bird deadline July 31, 2014

08.07.2014 | Event News

First evidence for painless atrial fibrillation treatment

04.07.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Junk DNA not as worthless as once thought

23.07.2014 | Life Sciences

New Study Reveals Vulnerability of Sharks as Collateral Damage in Commercial Fishing

23.07.2014 | Studies and Analyses

NASA Provides Double Vision on Typhoon Matmo

23.07.2014 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>