Pomegranate juice: a cancer therapy that’s easy to swallow?

Many articles featured on this blog look at new and exciting technologies to assist in the fight against cancer. However, this paper from Lei Wang and colleagues from the University of California and Duke University investigating the effects of a particular substance on the growth and motility of prostate cancer cells is a slight break with tradition. While it’s clear that the results from this research are very exciting, the substance being tested – pomegranate juice – is familiar to everyone.

The group’s work follows on from a clinical trail where participants who were given just 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day experienced reduced tumour growth and undertakes to look at the biology behind this observation. Using a wide range of techniques, including gene arrays, microRNA arrays and cytokine assays the group found that treatment of cancer cells with media containing just 1% pomegranate juice caused reduced growth and metastasis. The treatment also decreased the expression of microRNAs associated with invasiveness and reduced the secretion of cytokines which cause inflammation.

Why not take a look at their results today?

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of pomegranate juice-induced anti-metastatic effect on prostate cancer cells
Lei Wang, Andre Alcon, Hongwei Yuan, Jeffrey Ho, Qi-Jing Li and M. Martins-Green
Integr. Biol., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0IB00122H

This article was published as part of a themed issue on cancer research in honour of Mina J. Bissell.

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