A recent study reports on some exciting information about using a combination of 6 anticancer plant compounds to kill breast cancer cells. Before I discuss this study you need to understand a little background…
Why I Believe Attacking Cancer On Multiple Fronts Is Essential:
New, and frankly mind-blowing, research has discovered that all cancerous tumors are comprised of literally thousands (and perhaps millions) of different genetic variations of that tumor. This means that within each cancer there will be cancer cells with mutations that allow those cells to be resistant to almost any treatment thrown at it. If this isn’t discouraging I don’t know what it is!
So, how do we combat this problem?
You have to attack each cancer using a multi-pronged approach. Cancer doctors do this all the time by combining more than one drug or therapy (i.e. radiation therapy, surgery, etc.) when treating cancer. Unfortunately, many of these therapies have side effects that limit the number and intensity of different therapies that can be used on each person’s cancer.
Enter anticancer foods…
In the IOE blog, I often discuss the importance of consuming a diet rich in various foods known to fight cancer. Within vegetables, fruits, spices and plant roots there are literally thousands of potent anticancer phytonutrients, many of which have similar anticancer effects found in the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical drugs we use in the clinic.
Although studies are being published all the time proclaiming that individual phytonutrients used in a petri dish, test tube or mouse experiment are able to kill cancer cells, unfortunately this has not yet translated into any proven cancer cures when used in humans. One reason for this disconnect is likely the fact that cancers possess numerous mutant cells, many of which will be resistant to any individual therapy or phytonutrient.
The Latest Study:
To address this problem, in a new study, researchers treated two different types of breast cancer cells with a 6-phytonutrient combination cocktail which included:
- Curcumin (an extract from turmeric)
- Isoflavones (an extract from soybeans)
- Indole-3-carbinol (an extract from cruciferous plants)
- C-phycocyanin (an extract from spirulina)
- Reservatrol (an extract from grapes)
- Quercetin, (a flavanoid extract from fruits, vegetables, and tea)
What these researchers discovered is truly fascinating!
The phytonutrients were supplied to the cancer cells at concentrations similar to the levels found when humans consume these compounds from food (albeit, you will have to eat a lot of each of these plants every day to get the same blood levels as you can get by taking a phytonutrient supplement).
When tested individually, the researchers found that the phytonutrient compounds demonstrated minimal anticancer effectiveness.
However, when all 6-compounds were given in a cocktail simultaneously it:
- Slowed cancer cell growth by more than 80%
- Inhibited migration and invasion
- Caused cell cycle arrest
- Triggered the process leading to cell death (resulting in the death of 100% of the breast cancer cells in the sample!)
Importantly, the researchers saw no harmful effects on normal cells that they tested with these compounds.
These Results Support Those Found In A Recent Clinical Study:
The findings of this preclinical study correlate with those from a recent clinical study in men with prostate cancer who were either given a supplement (called POMI-T) containing green tea, broccoli, pomegranate and turmeric for 6-months versus a placebo.
In the POMI-T study, the authors found that the men who took the supplement had a median rise in PSA (a blood test commonly used for assessing prostate cancer growth) of 15% compared to 79% increase in men on placebo. Additionally, 46% of the men who took the supplement had a lower or stable PSA versus 14% of those who received the placebo.
This means that the plant compounds used in the POMI-T supplement clearly have significant anticancer activity against prostate cancer.
**Full disclosure- I receive no compensation or have any conflicts of interest with this product (POMI-T) or company.
Dr. Lawenda’s Bottom Line:
I don’t want anyone to walk away from this post thinking that by simply consuming lots of anticancer foods (or supplements) they will be able to cure cancer.
Instead, I am making the point that cancers are not just a clone of a single mutated cell. If it was that easy we would have cured cancer by now. Unfortunately, we have learned that each cancer is comprised of many different genetic variations of that cancer, so a one-size-fits-all treatment may not kill off every last cancer cell.
This is why I counsel my patients to take a multi-pronged approach to their cancer treatment. You need to simultaneously hit cancer on as many fronts as you can to optimize your chances of becoming and staying a long time cancer survivor. To that end, eat a variety of anticancer foods every single day…and turbocharge this with high quality phytonutrient supplements (particularly if you are like most normal humans who can’t consume a shopping basket full of plant foods each day.)
Schedule an integrative oncology consult with me today to find out what you can do to make your body less conducive to cancer development, growth and progression…consuming more anticancer foods is only one piece of the integrative oncology program. There is much more to it than that.