Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice, study shows

Date:
November 15, 2011
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
A new study shows that the milk thistle extract, silibinin, interferes with cell signaling that otherwise leads to the production of tumor-causing enzymes COX2 and iNOS.

Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like conditions and so stopped the spread of these lung cancers, according to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.

Though the natural extract has been used for more than 2,000 years, mostly to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder, this is one of the first carefully controlled and reported studies to find benefit.

How it works

Basically, in a cell there can be a chain of signals, one leading to the next, to the next, and eventually to an end product. And so if you would like to eliminate an end product, you may look to break a link in the signaling chain that leads to it. The end products COX2 and iNOS are enzymes involved with the inflammatory response to perceived wounds -- both can aid tumor growth. Far upstream in the signaling chain that leads to these unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3. These transcription factors allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS.

Stop STAT1 and STAT3 and you break the chain that leads to COX2 and iNOS -- and the growth of lung tumors along with them.

"This relatively nontoxic substance -- a derivative of milk thistle, called silibinin -- was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS," says Alpna Tyagi, PhD, of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Tyagi works in the lab of University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Rajesh Agarwal, PhD.

In addition, Tyagi and collaborators compared the effects of silibinin to drugs currently in clinical trials for lung cancer. Would drugs that target other signaling pathways -- other linked chains -- similarly cut into the production of COX2 and iNOS?

It turned out that inhibiting the chains of JAK1/2 and MEK in combination and also inhibiting the signaling pathways of EGFR and NF-kB in combination blocked the ability of STAT1 and STAT3 to trap the energy they needed to eventually signal COX2 and iNOS production.

Compared to these multi-million dollar drugs, naturally-occurring silibinin blocked not only the expression of COX2 and iNOS, but also the migration of existing lung cancer cells.

"What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer, no matter how you target them," Tyagi says. "And also that naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today's best treatments."

This work was supported by NCI RO1 grant CA113876.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. The original article was written by Garth Sundem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alpna Tyagi, Chapla Agarwal, Lori D. Dwyer-Nield, Rana P. Singh, Alvin M. Malkinson, Rajesh Agarwal. Silibinin modulates TNF-α and IFN-γ mediated signaling to regulate COX2 and iNOS expression in tumorigenic mouse lung epithelial LM2 cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/mc.20851

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115145236.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2011, November 15). Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115145236.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115145236.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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