nigella sativa and pancreatic cancer
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on October 3, 2009
Originally posted at oleandersoup group:
http://www.scienced aily.com/ releases/ 2009/04/09041913 3905.htm
Herbal extract inhibits pancreatic cancer development
April 20th, 2009 – 2:15 pm ICT by ANI Tell a Friend –
Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): A herb used in traditional medicine by many
Middle Eastern and Asian countries not only kill pancreatic cancer cells
but also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result
of its anti-inflammatory properties, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer
Center at Jefferson found.
Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at the
Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, said that
thymoquinone, the major constituent of the oil extract from a Middle
Eastern herbal seed called Nigella sativa, exhibited anti-inflammatory
properties that reduced the release of inflammatory mediators in
pancreatic cancer cells.
Dr. Arafat said that Nigell a sativa seeds and oil, used in traditional
medicine by many Middle Eastern and Asian countries, helps treat a broad
array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders.
Previous studies have also shown it to have anti-cancer effects on
prostate and colon cancers.
Based upon their previously published findings that thymoquinone
inhibits histone deacetylases (HDACs), Dr. Arafat and her colleagues
compared the anti-inflammatory properties of thymoquinone and
trichostatin A, an HDAC inhibitor that has previously shown to
ameliorate inflammation- associated cancers.
The researchers used pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells, some
of which were pretreated with the cytokine TNF-alpha to induce
Thymoquinone almost completely abolished the expression of several
inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-alpha, interleukin- 1beta,
interleukin- 8, Cox-2 and MCP-1, an effect that was more superior to the
effect of trichostatin A.
The herb also inhibited the activation and synthesis of NF-kappaB, a
transcription factor that has been implicated in inflammation- associated
Activation of NF-kappaB has been observed in pancreatic cancer and may
be a factor in pancreatic cancer’s resistance to chemotherapeutic
When animal models of pancreatic cancer were treated with thymoquinone,
67 percent of the tumours were significantly shrunken, and the levels of
proinflammatory cytokines in the tumours were significantly reduced.
Inflammation has been implicated in the development of several solid
tumour malignancies. Chronic pancreatitis, both hereditary and sporadic,
is associated with the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
“Not only patients with chronic pancreatitis could benefit from this,
but also several other groups with risk of development or recurrence of
pancreatic cancer, such as high-risk family members and post-surgical
patients. These potent effects show promise for the herb as a potential
preventive and therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer. More
importantly, the herb and oil are safe when used moderately, and have
been used for thousands of years without reported toxic effects.” Dr.
The study was presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver.