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Novel Compound Selectively Kills Cancer Cells By Blocking Their Response to Oxidative Stress

Health & Wellness  (tags: AlternativeMed, cancer, children, death, disease, drugs, environment, food, health, healthcare, humans, illness, investigation, medicine, prevention, protection, research, science, society, study, treatment )

- 2476 days ago -
The plant-based compound piperlongumine (PL), derived from the fruit of a pepper plant found in southern India and southeast Asia, appears to kill cancer cells by jamming the machinery that dissipates high oxidative stress and the resulting ROS.

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Kit B (276)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 7:58 am

A cancer cell may seem out of control, growing wildly and breaking all the rules of orderly cell life and death. But amid the seeming chaos there is a balance between a cancer cell's revved-up metabolism and skyrocketing levels of cellular stress. Just as a cancer cell depends on a hyperactive metabolism to fuel its rapid growth, it also depends on anti-oxidative enzymes to quench potentially toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by such high metabolic demand.

Scientists at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have discovered a novel compound that blocks this response to oxidative stress selectively in cancer cells but spares normal cells, with an effectiveness that surpassed a chemotherapy drug currently used to treat breast cancer. Their findings, based on experiments in cell culture and in mice, appear online in Nature on July 13.

Please continue reading....

Pat B (356)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 8:26 am
Encouraging news. I hope that with their findings, the researchers can continue to "focus on different forms of cancer and their genotypes". We sure do need a "Cure for Cancer"!!! Thanks, Kit for this article. Passing this on. ;-)

Terry King (113)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 10:12 am
I won't pretend to understand the chemistry involved but it sounds promising.

Eileen Novak (444)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 10:55 am
This is encouraging. If this compound does selectively kill cancer cells, it'll make treatment so much easier on the patients. Coming from a plant is an added plus.

Dee C (23)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 1:00 pm
Thanks Kit..noted & shared..

Mary L (132)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 1:26 pm
I hate this. So many times research is "outed" before it's close to being ready. Then there's a big hullabaloo and the people with cancer start lobbying to have the new treatment approved before it's properly tested. Then, the people who yell about that come out of the wood work. It's never ending.

Kit B (276)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 1:49 pm

The chemistry involved is not as complicated as it may seem. And yes Mary that does happen but I think we should know that work is moving forward. It may not help anyone for years - but then it just might be one more treatment that will revolutionize cancer treatments.

Okay - let me back up on that - if you have studied organic chemistry, it's not that bad. I'm sorry if some of these articles go to far into chemistry or math - and any of the areas that I forget not everyone has studied. I tend to think of Science Daily as written for everyone.

Toni C (508)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 4:57 pm
Noted and thanks for the article, Kit. Sorry I couldn't give you a green star this time, because you certainly deserve it.
As a cancer survivor, this does sound promising, but I'm not holding my breath. I know marijuana oil is also promising but Big Pharma won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Peppers, specifically hot peppers, also fight ulcers, and they also relieve pain of arthritis sufferers, so, you know, they might really have a winner here. Just hope they don't drag their feet. There's an awful lot of people out there that could use the cure, and it sure sounds better [and a whole lot safer] than radiation and chemptherapy.

Carol H (229)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 5:01 pm
thanks Kit for the good news! I am very hopeful

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 6:56 pm
Cool :)

Susanne R (234)
Saturday July 16, 2011, 10:41 pm
Very interesting article! A cancer treatment that is effective, non-toxic and doesn't damage healthy cells along with the cancerous ones would be a dream come true for cancer sufferers and their families. Let's hope that PL helps to facilitate a cure!

Akin Adelakun (21)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 2:07 am
Thank you for posting

. (0)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 7:16 am
wonderful news, thanks for sharing, Kit

Morris G. (18)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 1:22 pm
Good article. Being involved in cancer research funding, I am always appreciative of news of potential new cancer treatments. I recently attended a presentation of another exciting possible new treatment that will soon be in clinical trials - Ang (1-7) - which is a naturally occuring compound in the body that shows tremendous promise as a tumor inhibitor.
I am a little confused by Toni's Big Pharma comment. Besides not being aware of any promising marijuana cancer treatments (not including of course its use as an appetite enhancer which is already supplied by "Big Pharma"), why would a drug company not want a potential new treatment on the market? They would make BILLIONS.
Of course it won't be long before the uninformed among start the complaints about the use of mice in this research as mentioned in the article.

Edgar Zuim (47)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 2:02 pm
Good news. Any research involving the welfare of the people is important.

Clifton Jackson (124)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 2:35 pm
WOW!! Finally some Great News! Makes me Feel Good!

Nelson Baker (0)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 3:57 pm
Very interesting.

Brad Kraus (6)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 4:25 pm
Very encouraging. This fruit has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Ellen m (215)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 5:51 pm
Kit and early for green stars!

Judith H (27)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 7:02 pm

Angela Weber (27)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 8:11 pm
Wow. Sounds cool. I HOPE it really works and saves people's lives.

Juliana D (18)
Sunday July 17, 2011, 11:59 pm
Noted, Thanks!

Minke B (0)
Monday July 18, 2011, 1:16 am
Good to know that research might actually have found something. It sounds promising!

Tony Isaacs (40)
Monday July 18, 2011, 2:43 am
It is encouraging to see science looking at something in nature to combat cancer with. There are LOTS of things in nature which can prevent and eliminate cancer, but nature is hard to patent and profit from and so the research has been sorely lacking.

KS Goh (0)
Monday July 18, 2011, 5:33 am
Thanks for the article.

William Y (54)
Monday July 18, 2011, 5:39 am
That would be great if it can become actuality.

{TIC Evidently cancer cells don't like pepper.

Akin Adelakun (21)
Monday July 18, 2011, 5:43 am

Morris G. (18)
Monday July 18, 2011, 7:03 am
"There are LOTS of things in nature which can prevent and eliminate cancer, but nature is hard to patent and profit from and so the research has been sorely lacking."
HUH? Many if not most drugs that are developed by drug companies come from discoveries made from nature's chemicals. In fact according to the NIH, "Researchers generally agree that natural products from plants and other organisms have been the most consistently successful source for ideas for new drugs, since nature is a master chemist. Drug discovery scientists often refer to these ideas as "leads," and chemicals that have desirable properties in lab tests are called lead compounds."
Drug companies take these discoveries and fund the refinement, testing, trials, and develop the delivery systems for these new drugs.
There are way too many drugs that are used regularly that were derived from chemicals discovered in nature to list here, but you can look to the NIH's website to learn about several new ones under development now. See the medbydesign pages on their site and you can learn about many new potential treatments.
One thing people never seem to realize. MANY things will kill cancer cells in a dish. Some of these will kill them in tumors that have been implanted in mice. However many of these compounds do not end up being effective treatments because they cannot be delivered to the cancer cells in human bodies in the concentrations necessary to be effective without killing the person. Cancer cells are living human cells. The trick is always to kill all of them without killing too many of your other normal living cells. Also just because it is "natural" does not make it safe. After all cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and botulinum are all "natural."


Linda h (86)
Monday July 18, 2011, 6:16 pm
Very encouraging thank you for posting this.

. (0)
Monday July 18, 2011, 6:53 pm
True, Morris. So many drugs that we use all the time were developed from plants and other "natural" sources.

And I hope this potential therapy turns out to be useful.

Jae A (316)
Wednesday July 20, 2011, 3:38 am
Of course the FDA will take forever with this one as it could do real just doesn't have all the side effects needed to patent a version for the pharmamed folks to profit from.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 20, 2011, 3:55 am

As are most of of our effective drug therapies "natural" our ancestors knew far more then we about which plants offer curative properties and which were dangerous. So what's the point Morris?

Jae, the FDA is a bureaucracy and does take a long time in processing new medications, overall we do usually benefit from the FDA doing double checks on drugs before they are offered to the market.

. (0)
Wednesday July 20, 2011, 5:18 am
Jae, we don't know yet what all the side effects would be of this therapy (even assuming it turns out to be effective for humans). The fact that a single test on mice showed no short-term toxic effects doesn't mean there won't be negative side effects in humans. In fact, there are almost guaranteed to be some form of negative side effects from any drug - even one, say, as normally benign as aspirin. Hopefully if this turns out to be a good therapy any side effects will be minimal and non-serious for most.

Ayenis Rojas (3)
Friday December 21, 2012, 8:14 am
So typical of conventional medicine. Why change anything. Give to people the same way it is giving to mice and that's it. No additional drug to make. Oh wait, that doesn't make nearly as much money. How about using it in it's natural form, which I guess it's being used on mice. Can scientist stop thinking about making money and think of healing people.
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