Scientists at Indiana University Health's Cancer Research Laboratory have found that a sophisticated botanical formula slows human breast cancer growth and inhibits breast to lung metastasis in mice. The formula contains extracts from medicinal mushrooms, medicinal herbs and purified nutritional compounds, and showed no toxic side-effects. These results were presented at the April 2012 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.
"Our results are very exciting because we clearly demonstrate the suppression of breast to lung cancer metastasis associated with the inhibition of specific pro-metastatic genes in human tumors," says Daniel Sliva, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and lead author on the study.
Researchers implanted highly invasive, triple-negative human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) in mice, which were then given the formula orally for four weeks. The formula significantly decreased tumor growth and breast to lung metastasis. The cancer metastasized to the lungs in 70 percent of controls but only 20 percent of treated mice. The number of metastases per animal was also significantly reduced by the formula. Further study showed the formula down-regulates the primary tumor genes PLAU (urokinase plasminogen activator, uPA) and CXCR4 (C-X-C chemokine receptor-4), which have both been implicated in metastasis.
"Patients with breast cancer die from metastasis," said formula inventor and study co-author Isaac Eliaz, M.D. "This formula was able to change the gene expression of highly aggressive metastatic breast cancer and dramatically decrease the deadly metastatic process."
The formula uses a variety of natural compounds, each of which have demonstrated anti-cancer properties. Mycelium from medicinal mushrooms Coriolus versicolor, Ganoderma lucidum and Phellinus linteus reduced growth and invasiveness. Extracts from Scutellaria barbata, Astragalus membranaceus and Curcuma longa are known to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) and reduced metastasis. The flavonoid quercetin reduced proliferation and helped suppress tumor growth. In addition, 3, 3'-Diindolylmethane (DIM), an active byproduct of cruciferous vegetable digestion, reduced cancer growth, migration and invasiveness.
"Here, we show that the formula is not toxic and its oral application significantly suppresses time-dependent increase in tumor sizes and inhibits breast-to-lung cancer metastasis," says Dr. Sliva. "This formula may be considered as a biological therapeutic agent against invasive breast cancer, including the aggressive triple negative breast cancer. It can potentially increase survival of breast cancer patients."
Better Health Publishing (BHP)