Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Chinese medicine put through its paces for pancreatic cancer

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
The bark of the Amur cork tree has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more. Researchers were already exploring the cork tree extract's promise in treating prostate cancer when the team found that deadly pancreatic cancers share some similar development pathways with prostate tumors. The potential of natural substances to treat and cure disease has great appeal, but the advantage of cork tree extract, available as a dietary supplement in capsule form, is that it already has been established as safe for use in patients.

The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.

Related Articles


UT Health Science Center researcher A. Pratap Kumar was already exploring the cork tree extract's promise in treating prostate cancer when his team found that deadly pancreatic cancers share some similar development pathways with prostate tumors.

In a paper published today in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers show that the extract blocks those pathways and inhibits the scarring that thwarts anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Jingjing Gong, currently pursuing post-doctoral studies at Yale University, conducted the study as a graduate student in Dr Kumar's laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology.

"Fibrosis is a process of uncontrolled scarring around the tumor gland," said Dr. Kumar, a professor of urology in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center and the study's principal investigator. "Once you have fibrotic tissue, the drugs cannot get into the cancer."

Liver and kidney tumors also develop fibrosis and the resulting resistance to drugs, he said, and there are no drugs currently targeting that pathway in those cancers.

The two pathways, or proteins, that contribute to fibrosis in those tumors also encourage Cox-2, an enzyme that causes inflammation, and the cork tree extract appears to suppress that as well, Dr. Kumar said. The complex interrelationship of these substances is "the million-dollar question," he said, and solving that question is one of the next steps in his research.

The potential of natural substances to treat and cure disease has great appeal, but the advantage of cork tree extract, available as a dietary supplement in capsule form, is that it already has been established as safe for use in patients. In a promising prostate cancer clinical study of 24 patients that Dr. Kumar helped spearhead, all the patients tolerated the treatment well, he said. Now researchers are analyzing the results, he said, and with more funding they plan to expand the study to a much larger group of patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Gong, J. Xie, R. Bedolla, P. Rivas, D. Chakravarthy, J. W. Freeman, R. Reddick, S. Kopetz, A. Peterson, H. Wang, S. M. Fischer, A. P. Kumar. Combined Targeting of STAT3/NF-B/COX-2/EP4 for Effective Management of Pancreatic Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 2014; 20 (5): 1259 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1664

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Ancient Chinese medicine put through its paces for pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303084410.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2014, March 3). Ancient Chinese medicine put through its paces for pancreatic cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303084410.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Ancient Chinese medicine put through its paces for pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303084410.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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