Friday, March 24, 2006

Propolis May Delay Tumor Formation and Growth

Researchers Detail New Studies and Findings in the Area of Cancer Therapy
Drug Week, 3/31/2006

Cancer therapy data are the focus of recent research from Italy, Croatia and Netherlands.

Study 1: The hop flavonoid xanthohumol (XN) impedes tumor angiogenesis.

According to recent research from Italy, "XN, the principal flavonoid of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.) and a constituent of beer, has been suggested to have potential cancer chemopreventive activities...

Study 2: Administration of propolis and its polyphenolic compounds might delay tumor formation and growth.

"Many dietary constituents are chemopreventive in animal models, and experiments with cultured cells are revealing various potential mechanisms of action. Compounds classified as blocking agents can prevent, or greatly reduce, initiation of carcinogenesis, or suppressing agents can act on cell proliferation," investigators in Croatia reported.

"Caffeic acid (CA) and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), members of the polyphenolic compounds, are present in high concentrations in medicinal plants and propolis, a natural beehive product. A water-soluble extract of propolis (WSDP) and two components of propolis, CA and CAPE were investigated for direct antitumor activity in vivo and in vitro," explained N. Orsoilc and colleagues, University of Zagreb.

"The local presence of CA and CAPE in the tissue caused a significant delay in tumor formation and increased life span 29.30 to 51.73%, respectively. CA and CAPE, but not WSDP, significantly suppressed human HeLa cervical carcinoma cell proliferation in vitro."

The researchers concluded, "Based on these results, we postulate that the antitumor activity of polyphenolic compounds includes direct cytotoxic effects on tumor cells."

Orsoilc and colleagues published their study in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Effects of local administration of propolis and its polyphenolic compounds on tumor formation and growth. Biol Pharm Bull, 2005;28(10):1928-1933).

For additional information, contact N. Orsoilc, University of Zagreb, Faculty Science, Dept. Animal Physiol, Rooseveltov Trg 6, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.

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