Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jefferson Scientists Find Zinc May Help Prevent Esophageal, Oral Cancers

Date:
January 10, 2005
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Cancer researchers at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have found that zinc treatment may help prevent esophageal and oral cancers in those individuals at high risk.

Cancer researchers at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have found that zinc treatment may help prevent esophageal and oral cancers in those individuals at high risk.

Oral and esophageal cancers are associated with nutritional zinc deficiency, and a rise in the expression of the enzyme COX-2 is connected with these cancers.

Louise Fong, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and her co-workers have found that zinc given orally to zinc-deficient rats reverses the development of precancerous conditions in the esophagus and tongue and reverses the high expression of COX-2 there as well.

These findings suggest that zinc supplements may prevent the development of esophageal or oral cancers, particularly in developing countries where zinc deficiency is a problem. The researchers reported their findings January 5, 2005 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Zinc in the diet comes mostly from red meat and seafood. Whereas up to 10 percent of Americans have a zinc-deficient diet, as many as 2 billion individuals in developing countries are zinc-deficient. Epidemiological evidence show the incidence of esophageal and oral cancers is rising in recent years. As many as 13,000 Americans die from esophageal cancer each year.

Dr. Fong has been studying zinc deficiency and its connection to esophageal cancer for some 20 years, and has developed animal models of zinc deficiency and cancer susceptibility. Zinc deficiency, she says, increases cell proliferation in the esophagus and in the tongue, making both areas susceptible to carcinogens and increasing the risk of cancer development. In 2002, Dr. Fong reported that rats given a carcinogen while on a zinc-deficient diet developed esophageal cancer. Giving zinc prevented the cancer.

Dr. Fong wanted to know if zinc could regulate COX-2 expression in esophageal and tongue cancers. She and her co-workers compared COX-2 protein and gene expression in esophageal and tongue tissue in normal rats, zinc-deficient rats and in zinc-deficient rats that had received zinc. They found COX-2 expression was increased 10-to-15-fold in zinc-deficient rats. Cellular proliferation was similarly increased. After giving zinc to the deficient rats, COX-2 expression was markedly reduced and the precancerous cellular proliferation was reversed. The rats lacking dietary zinc were also treated with COX-2 inhibitors, celecoxib (Celebrex) and indomethacin. They found that the rats treated with the COX-2 inhibitors had a reduction in both COX-2 and cellular proliferation in the esophagus.

"Zinc treatment restores many systems affected by the lack of zinc," Dr. Fong notes. "Zinc deficiency upregulates COX-2. Zinc replenishment restores it to near normal levels." In the future, she and her co-workers would like to determine whether zinc in combination with low amounts of celecoxib can prevent upper aerodigestive tract cancers, including esophageal and oral cancers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find Zinc May Help Prevent Esophageal, Oral Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110113410.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2005, January 10). Jefferson Scientists Find Zinc May Help Prevent Esophageal, Oral Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110113410.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find Zinc May Help Prevent Esophageal, Oral Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110113410.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins