July 19, 2005
Compound from Chinese medicine shows promise in head and neck cancerTopics: Head and Neck Cancer
Gossypol is an herbal medicine used to treat cancer and a female problem called endometriosis. It may also be used by women and men to prevent pregnancy. Other names for Gossypol include: Gossypium hirsutum and Cottonseed oil.
A compound derived from cottonseed could help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy at treating head and neck cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.
(...) The compound, (-)-gossypol, works to regulate a protein called Bcl-xL that's overexpressed in cancer cells and makes these cells survive when they shouldn't.Read more...
(...) Gossypol comes from cottonseed and was once used in China as a male contraceptive. More recently, it's been tested as a cancer treatment. Wang found the negative isomer of gossypol binds at a site to block the active Bcl-xL protein. A prior study conducted by researchers in the U-M Head and Neck Oncology Program showed Bcl-xL protein is often highly expressed in head and neck cancers.
(...) researchers developed head and neck cancer cell cultures resistant to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, a platinum-based drug frequently used to treat this type of cancer. They found cisplatin killed cells with a mutant form of the protein p53, but cells with normal p53 and high levels of Bcl-xL were resistant.
(...) "These cisplatin resistant cells are exquisitely sensitive to (-)-gossypol. We can induce cell death in 70 percent to 90 percent of cells. This is a very impressive induction of cell death. It's because we are targeting the pathways these cells need to survive,"
Companion post at Hyscience
Posted by Richard at July 19, 2005 2:46 PM
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