Strawberries may prevent growth of breast cancer cells, reduce tumour size

Modesto Morganelli
Апреля 21, 2017

Dr Justine Alford, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "This research in mice is exciting because it not only reveals new details of how breast cancer grows and spreads, but it could lead to a completely new way to stop these processes in patients if proven in people".

The cancer cells used in the experiments were from a highly aggressive and invasive strain. The results demonstrated that this decreased cell viability (dependent on dosage and time), blocked the cycle leading to cell division and inhibited migration. The extract simultaneously stimulated expression of the gene Htatip2, which is thought to suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in breast cancer patients.

Researchers found a protein called lysyl oxidase, or Lox, which allowed breast cancer cells to latch on to growth receptors - helping them grow more rapidly.

Strawberries have been found to have many health benefits. Previous studies found that eating 500 grams of strawberries daily (between 10 and 15 strawberries), offered antioxidant benefits and reduced cholesterol levels.

A new method of combating breast cancer has been discovered by scientists after they pinpointed a key driver for its growth and spread. An 18-year British study of nearly 93,600 women found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries - three or more servings a week - reduced their risk of a heart attack by a third when compared to women who ate berries once a month or less.

The researchers used female laboratory mice in the in vivo model, which at one month of age were divided into a group that was given a standard diet and a group that was given an enriched diet, 15 percent of which was strawberry extract.

When tested on mice, the medicine halted the protein's capacity to help cancer cells, slowing both the growth of tumours and the rate at which cells multiplied, scientists said.

'These results are without a doubt valid for understanding potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer and the molecular mechanisms involved, but they must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies to verify whether humans experience the same positive effects as we have observed in mice'.

"We also saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumour", Battino noted.

Despite the positive results of the study, in which researchers from the University of the Americas (Ecuador) and the International Iberoamerican University (Mexico) also participated, the researcher emphasises that the information from this and other studies using animal models cannot be extrapolated to humans.

"The majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex", he explains, "and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease".

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