Wild Berry Extract May Strengthen Effectiveness Of Pancreatic Cancer Drug: Study
A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.
Adding nutraceuticals to chemotherapy cycles may improve the effectiveness of conventional drugs, particularly in hard to treat cancers, like pancreatic cancer, the study added.
Researchers tested the effectiveness of extract of chokeberry in killing off cancer cells. Chokeberry grows in the eastern side of North America in wetlands and swamp areas. It is high in vitamins and antioxidants.
The toxicity of chokeberry extract on normal blood vessel lining cells was tested and found to have no effects up to the highest levels used (50 ug/ml), suggesting that the cell death effect is happening in a way other than through preventing new blood vessel formation (anti-angiogenesis), a process that is important in cancer cell growth, the press release added.
"These are very exciting results. The low doses of the extract greatly boosted the effectiveness of gemcitabine, when the two were combined. In addition, we found that lower doses of the conventional drug were needed, suggesting either that the compounds work together synergistically, or that the extract exerts a "supra-additive" effect. This could change the way we deal with hard to treat cancers in the future," said Bashir Lwaleed, at the University of Southampton, in the press release.
The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.