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Crocetinic acid in saffron may inhibit the pancreatic cancer cell growth

Date:
November 2, 2015
Source:
University of Kansas Cancer Center
Summary:
Crocetinic acid, a purified compound from crocetin, showed the inhibition of growth in human pancreatic cancer cells grown either in a dish or as tumors under the skin of mice, scientists report.
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For several years now, researchers in the University of Kansas Medical Center's Department of Cancer Biology have been examining the effects of crocetin on pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease which responds poorly to current chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Crocetin is derived from saffron, a popular spice and food colorant and a key ingredient in many traditional Indian medicines.

In a study just published in the journal Oncotarget, a team of researchers led by KU Cancer Center Cancer Prevention & Survivorship Program member, Animesh Dhar, Ph.D., an associate professor of cancer biology at KU Medical Center, found that crocetinic acid, a purified compound from crocetin, showed the inhibition of growth in human pancreatic cancer cells grown either in a dish or as tumors under the skin of mice.

Dhar said after 21 days, there was a significant reduction in tumor growth in the group of mice who received the crocetinic acid.

"The mice who were given the crocetinic acid demonstrated a 75 percent reduction in their tumor growth, while the mice in the control group, which didn't receive the crocetinic acid, actually saw a 250 percent increase in tumor growth," Dhar said.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer. It is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. More than 43,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and about the same number die each year from the disease. Only about 3 percent of people with pancreatic cancer live more than five years after diagnosis.

In the KU Medical Center trial, the crocetinic acid also targeted and inhibited pancreatic cancer stem cells -- the deadly population of cells that usually resist conventional chemotherapy.

"Unless these stem cells are destroyed, the cancer will return," said Shrikant Anant, Ph.D., a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at KU Medical Center and associate director of cancer prevention and control at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and a co-author on the study. "If we can determine that crocetinic acid is successful in inhibiting or destroying the stem cells, it will be a major step forward in the treatment of pancreatic cancer."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Kansas Cancer Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Parthasarathy Rangarajan, Dharmalingam Subramaniam, Santanu Paul, Deep Kwatra, Kanagaraj Palaniyandi, Shamima Islam, Sitaram Harihar, Satish Ramalinagam, William Gutheil, Sandeep Putty, Rohan Pradhan, Subhash Padhye, Danny R. Welch, Shrikant Anant, Animesh Dhar. Crocetinic acid inhibits hedgehog signaling to inhibit pancreatic cancer stem cells. Oncotarget, 2015; 6 (29): 27661 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.4871

Cite This Page:

University of Kansas Cancer Center. "Crocetinic acid in saffron may inhibit the pancreatic cancer cell growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102143743.htm>.
University of Kansas Cancer Center. (2015, November 2). Crocetinic acid in saffron may inhibit the pancreatic cancer cell growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102143743.htm
University of Kansas Cancer Center. "Crocetinic acid in saffron may inhibit the pancreatic cancer cell growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102143743.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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