Tag Archives: cancer cure

Glutamine Deprivation May Slow Pancreatic Cancer

Tumor growth in pancreatic cancer patients may be slowed using glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid, which is one of the building blocks of proteins. Although it is typically considered a non-essential amino acid (meaning the body may make it on its own), glutamine is technically a conditionally essential amino acid. The term “essential” means that it must be gotten through the diet, so this amino acid is—in certain circumstances—acquired via intake of food.

Glutamine, which is the most abundant amino acid in the human body, plays a role in cancer tumor growth; so depriving the cancer cells of glutamine may hold the key to slowing the spread of cancer of the pancreas, a study shows.

Study on pancreatic tumor growth and glutamine

At the Division of Genomic Stability and DNA Repair, Department of Radiation Oncology (part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) in Boston, Massachusetts, a group of researchers and doctors, J Son, CA Lyssiotis, et al., have investigated just how the amino acid glutamine is involved with the KRAS-regulated metabolic pathway, which is part of the cause of tumor growth within the pancreas itself.

The researchers studied the metabolism of cancer cells and glutamine dependencies since, unlike normal cells, the cells within cancer tumors maintain their own type of metabolism. They said that “an increased use of the amino acid glutamine to fuel anabolic processes. Indeed, the spectrum of glutamine-dependent tumors and the mechanisms whereby glutamine supports cancer metabolism remain areas of active investigation.”

Because human pancreatic cells use a non-standard pathway, which identifies ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells, most cells use “glutamate dehydrogenase (GLUD1) to convert glutamine-derived glutamate.” What this means is that the PDAC cells “are strongly dependent … as glutamine deprivation or genetic inhibition of any enzyme in this pathway leads to [a] series of reactions [that] results in a pronounced suppression of PDAC growth in vitro and in vivo.”

The scientists established that because the glutamine metabolism is reprogrammed and “mediated by oncogenic KRAS, the signature genetic alteration in PDAC [represses] key metabolic enzymes in this pathway.”

With the PDAC pathway and pancreatic cells being dispensable, the glutamine in normal cells then becomes a possible new therapeutic approach in treating pancreatic tumors in humans. Hopefully more will be forthcoming on this new technique in the near future.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23535601

Tyrosine and Tyrosine Kinase for Thyroid Cancer

Tyrosine amino acid has a number of health benefits; however, it may not be helpful for skin cancer. That said, related to this is the enzyme tyrosine kinase, which is used to treat thyroid cancer according to some research done at the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Thyroid cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society includes:

“About 62,980 new cases of thyroid cancer (47,790 in women, and 15,190 in men)
“About 1,890 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,060 women and 830 men)
“Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens.”

Although tyrosine, an essential amino acid (which means your body produces it on its own rather than relying on diet alone). Protein foods like meats, eggs, and fish provide all 22 amino acids. However, the enzyme tyrosine kinase has been researched as a helpful supplement for treating thyroid cancer. Standards for the treatment are needed, but this medical study below examples how tyrosine kinase is an effective cancer treatment.

Tyrosine kinase as a thyroid cancer treatment

Tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that transfers a phosphate group from ATP over to proteins within cells, which attaches to the amino acid tyrosine on these proteins. The enzyme also attaches to other amino acid such as threonine or serine, but tyrosine kinases have a special ability to mutate to an “on” position. This allows growth of the cells to happen, which is extremely important for treating cancer.

These are called tyrosine kinase inhibitors and can help in cancer treatments, including for thyroid cancer.

A study by AA Carhill, ME Cabanillas, et al., in Houston’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, have studied tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in regards to creating standards for treating patients with thyroid cancer.

The researchers needed a “systematic approach to the clinical application of these agents in order to improve patient safety and monitoring promote consistency among providers, and ensure compliance with both institutional and industry standards.”

Their conclusions were based on the tyrosine kinase inhibitor applications they reviewed, including professional guidelines for thyroid cancer, plus reports, trials, and articles, etc., all published in the prior decade. They also included older studies for tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

The research allowed them to develop a “standardized approach related to prescribing commercially available tyrosine kinase inhibitors … for patients with advanced thyroid cancer.”

It is already important to note the already-established knowledge of enzyme-based tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, just as tyrosine and other amino acids are well known for their health benefits, but to help develop a standard for thyroid cancer therapy using enzymes was needed, and the void met.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23185034

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrosine_kinase

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroidcancer/detailedguide/thyroid-cancer-key-statistics

Can Carnitine Help Prevent Colon Cancer?

A Canadian in vitro study investigated the effects of two nutrients on colon cancer. Would the amino acid carnitine improve the anticancer effect of a fatty acid? Results were promising.

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancers in the world. The risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20. However, if caught early, the cancer can be cured. The 5-year survival rate for stage 1 (the earliest stage) is almost 75%.

Not all risk factors for developing colon cancer are known, though people with inflammatory bowel disease have an increased risk. People with Type 2 diabetes also have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

Nutrition and diet are other risk factors. A diet high in red meat and processed meat increases the risk of developing colon cancer. Diets high in vegetables and fiber could reduce the risk, though studies are continually ongoing.

Researchers (M Roy, S Dionne, et al) from the University of Montreal’s Department of Nutrition (Quebec, Canada) developed a study to investigate the effect of diet and colon cancer. The study focused on butyrate and the amino acid carnitine.

Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid, found in dietary fiber and dairy products. Butyrate has potential anticancer affects. And butyrate’s effectiveness is enhanced by carnitine. Would these two nutrients inhibit colon cancer?

Carnitine and colon cancer cells: results

Human colon cancer cells were incubated with butyrate and carnitine. The colon cancer cells were tested for proliferation–reproducing, and apoptosis—programmed cell death.

The researchers found that butyrate and carnitine acted on the cancer cells at the molecular level. Proteins which cause apoptosis were increased by the butyrate and carnitine, and the cancer cell genetic expression was decreased.

The study concluded that carnitine and butyrate do prevent colon cancer cells from spreading, and also that carnitine and butyrate cause apoptosis in colon cancer cells. This could lead to further in vivo studies, with the hope of finding new treatments for colon cancer

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619983