Sunday January 21, 2018

Neem extract can be used in pancreatic cancer treatment

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New York: Indian-origin scientists and a team of researchers said, a natural extract derived from Neem tree can be used for treating lethal pancreatic cancer.

The results revealed that nimbolide, an active molecule isolated from Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), can stop pancreatic cancer’s growth and spread without harming normal, healthy cells.

“The promise nimbolide has shown is amazing, and the specificity of the treatment towards cancer cells over normal cells is very intriguing,” said Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso in the US.

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers with 94 percent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis.

The cancer grows quickly and there are currently no effective treatments available.

In the study, Lakshmanaswamy and colleagues observed that nimbolide was able to reduce the migration and invasion capabilities of pancreatic cancer cells by 70 percent meaning the cancerous cells did not become aggressive and spread.

And that is promising, the researchers said.

In humans, this migration and invasion or metastasis of pancreatic cancer to other regions of the body is the chief cause of mortality.

Nimbolide treatments also induced cancer cell death, causing the size and number of pancreatic cancer cell colonies to drop by 80 percent.

“Nimbolide seems to attack pancreatic cancer from all angles,” Lakshmanaswamy said.

What is more, the Neem compound did not harm healthy cells in both the in vitro and in vivo experiments.

“Many people in India actually eat neem and it doesn’t have harmful side effects, which suggests that using nimbolide for pancreatic cancer will not cause adverse effects like chemotherapy and radiation typically do,” study lead author Ramadevi Subramani, postdoctoral researcher at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centre, said.

The findings appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.

While the results are promising, Lakshmanaswamy said there is still a long way to go before nimbolide can be used to treat pancreatic cancer in humans.

The researchers said they plan to continue researching the anticancer mechanisms behind the plant extract.(image: stylecraze.com)(IANS)

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Research Yields Possible Blood Test for Cancer

The test was most successful with ovarian cancer, followed by liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, lung and breast cancers.

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Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
  • Scientists have developed a blood test which can detect cancer
  • This blood test can detect eight types of cancer
  • They have developed a way of detecting DNA which comes specifically from cancer

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) are reporting progress in developing a blood test to detect eight types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that are difficult to detect with existing screening tools.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, JHU scientists examined how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already diagnosed with the disease.

Also Read : How broccoli can help keep colorectal cancer away 

This blood test can detect 8 types of cancers. Pixabay
This blood test can detect 8 types of cancers. Pixabay

In blood samples from more than 1,000 patients already diagnosed with cancer, the test detected the cancer in about 70 percent of the subjects.

Nikolas Papadopoulos, a professor of oncology and pathology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, said the test is noninvasive.

“All [patients] have to do is give a little bit of blood,” he told VOA. “What we detect is DNA, which is the genetic material that is present in all of our cells, but we have developed a method to detect DNA that comes only from the cancer cells.”

Scientists have been focused on liquid biopsy tests which look for mutated DNA that floats freely in the blood and in cancer-related proteins to try to find cancer before it spreads. They focused on cancers for which there is little or no early-screening process — the ones that are often serious enough to be deadly by the time they are detected.

“That’s one of the tricks that cancer plays on us,” Papadopoulos said. “It grows inside of us and we feel fine until we start having something like a pain or a cough or something like that. And many times, it’s too late.”

Also Read : Alcohol can be linked with seven types of Cancer

This test detects DNA which is specifically formed due to cancer. sites.bu.edu
This test detects DNA which is specifically formed due to cancer. sites.bu.edu

The test was most successful with ovarian cancer, followed by liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, lung and breast cancers.

“This study that’s just published, it’s the first step,” Papadopoulos said.

He said a larger study is under way, with a pool of thousands of people. Unlike the earlier study, which dealt solely with patients already known to have cancer, the new group makes up a more representative sample of the general population — that is, most do not have cancer, at least not that has been diagnosed.

“The new study is different in that it simulates what is going to be the population that this test will be applied to,” he said. “And hopefully, we will get good results.” VOA