Plant-based compounds can slow spread of cancer

Washington: More than 40 plant-based compounds can turn on genes that slow the spread of cancer, a new study has claimed.

A Washington State University researcher found that some plant based substances acted epigenetically, which is to say they turned metastasis suppressor genes on or off.

He saw substances like amino acids, vitamin D, ethanol, ginseng extract, the tomato carotenoid lycopene, the turmeric component curcumin, pomegranate juice, fish oil and others affecting gene expression in breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, lung and other cancers.

"Most research focuses on the prevention of cancer or the treatment of the original cancer tumour, but it`s usually the cancer`s spread to nearby organs that kills you. So rather than attack the tumour, let`s control its spread, or metastasis," Gary Meadows, WSU professor said.

He focused in particular on genes that suppress metastasis. Meadows looked to see when metastasis suppressor genes were on or off.

In the end, he documented dozens of substances affecting the metastasis suppressor genes of numerous cancers.

"So these epigenetic mechanisms are influenced by what you eat. That may also be related to how the metastasis suppressor genes are being regulated. That`s a very new area of research that has largely not been very well explored in terms of diet and nutrition," Meadows said in a statement.

"There`s likely to be more compounds out there, more constituents, that people haven`t even evaluated yet," he added.

The study was published in the journal Cancer and Metastasis Reviews.


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