June 8, 1998 Animal studies using human cancer cells show that a natural sugar-phosphate compound normally found in rice and wheat bran and in legumes slows or stops the growth of several kinds of cancer and shrinks existing tumors, a University of Maryland pathologist told an international scientific symposium today (June 8). The First International Symposium on Disease Prevention by IP6 and Other Rice Components is being held in Kyoto, Japan on June 8-9.
Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, PhD, a University of Maryland School of Medicine professor of pathology who helped organize the symposium, reported on his research on the cancer-fighting properties of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) in colon, liver, breast and soft-tissue cancers in human cell-lines transplanted into mice.
"The number of tumors and their size was reduced three-fold," Shamsuddin said. "The rate of cell division was cut in half. IP6 also normalizes cell division and up-regulates the product of the P53 gene, one of the body’s most powerful tumor-suppressor genes."
In the May-June issue of the journal Anticancer Research, Shamsuddin and colleagues at the University of Maryland and the National Cancer Institute report on studies in which IP6 effectively inhibited cell growth and shrank existing tumors almost 50-fold. Treated cells also began to differentiate again, a sign of a return to normal.
In a presentation which concluded the two-day symposium, Shamsuddin summarized 14 years of his own research and that of about a dozen other scientists worldwide. In addition to effectiveness in prevention and treatment of a variety of kinds of tumors, IP6 has been shown to inhibit kidney stone formation, lower lipid levels in the blood, prevent fatty liver, protect the muscles in the heart wall during heart attack and prevent atherosclerosis, he said.
IP6 is a sugar molecule attached to six phosphate molecules. It is found throughout nature, in plants and virtually every kind of mammalian cell. It plays in important role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation.
"IP6 has striking anticancer action, both in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (in live animals)," says Shamsuddin. He is hoping to conduct human clinical trials soon.
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