Tag Archives: cure cancer

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

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

Amino Acids Lysine, Proline, Arginine To Treat Prostate Cancer

A study into the anti-tumor effects of specific nutrients has led to positive results. A unique amino acids-plus formulation of lysine, proline, arginine, ascorbic acid, and epigallocatechin gallate was proved to have anticancer properties, and could become a natural anticancer agent to treat prostate cancer. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer. In fact, about 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (U.S. data). But prostate cancer can often be treated successfully, especially if detected early.

Prostate cancer can often be found by testing for a prostate-specific antigen in the blood. A digital rectal exam is also a common screening technique. Once diagnosed and staged, prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and other treatments.

Because some treatments, like chemotherapy, have severe side effects, scientists worldwide are studying new, non-toxic anti-cancer therapies, including some amino acids.

Amino acids nutrient study results: proliferation of prostate cancer cells reduced

Researchers Roomi MW, Ivanov V, et al, from the Matthias Rath Research, Cancer Division, Santa Clara, USA, developed a unique formula containing specific amino acids to treat prostate cancer cell lines.

Various concentrations of the amino acids lysine, proline, and arginine, were combined with ascorbic acid and epigallocatechin gallate. This mixture was tested on prostate cancer cell lines in vitro. The proliferation, or growth, of prostate cancer cells was measured.

Lysine is one of the essential amino acids, which means we must ingest it since our bodies cannot produce it by themselves. The two amino acids proline and arginine are synthesized in our bodies, though of course all amino acids can be consumed as supplements or can come from eating certain protein foods, including meats.

Results of the study were impressive. The amino acids-plus mixture produced a dose-dependent inhibition of some of the prostate cancer cell lines. The researchers concluded that the lysine, proline, and arginine amino acids, ascorbic acid, and epigallocatechin gallate mixture could become a potent anticancer agent, and could be a new treatment for prostate cancer.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17564322