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Cranberries Give Boost to Cancer Drug-reaction

Cranberries Give Boost to Cancer Drug-reaction

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Published by: tinatin989 on Jun 14, 2010
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Cranberries Give Boost to Cancer Drug
In Test Tube, Cranberry Extract Makes Ovarian Cancer Drug More EffectiveBy Daniel J. DeNoonWebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDAug. 21, 2007 - A simple cranberry juice extract makes platinum-based cancer drugs six timesmore potent against ovarian cancer.The test-tube findings are a long way from cancer patients' bedsides. But Rutgers Universitynatural products researchers Ajay P. Singh, PhD, and Nicholi Vorsa, PhD, are optimistic."This has opened up exciting possibilities for therapeutic intervention associated with platinumtherapy," Singh and Vorsa say in a news release.Platinum-based chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for ovarian cancer. But over time, thecancers tend to become resistant to the drugs. This means increased chemotherapy dosage -- andincreased toxicity to patients.The researchers note that compounds isolated from cranberries kill human ovary, brain, and prostate cells in laboratory studies. This anticancer activity seems to come from a family of chemicals called proanthocyanidins (PACs).These "amazing chemical entities," Singh and Vorsa suggest, are unique to cranberries and arenot found in other fruits.Exactly how the cranberry compounds work isn't known. But in their lab studies, Singh andVorsa tested them against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells.Singh and Vorsa found that in the presence of cranberry extract -- which came from acommercially available, 27% juice cranberry drink -- platinum-based chemotherapy was sixtimes more effective against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells.They will soon begin animal studies to see whether this happens outside the laboratory. For thetime being, however, they warn patients not to start drinking significant quantities of cranberry juice without their doctors' permission. Cranberry juice itself, they note, is not a cure for cancer.Singh and Vorsa reported the findings in a presentation to the 234th national meeting of theAmerican Chemical Society.
POSADAS, Kristina Grace NPR-2SUMMARY:Cranberrys health benefits have long been established-what with its UTI- and stomach ulcer-prevention abilities. However, with recent developments, it seems theres no stopping thiswonder berry just yet- not even what most consider as the modern Hitler of the human race.Initial research findings have shown that cranberries may act as a catalyst when used inconjunction with chemotherapeutic drugs, specifically platinum-based agents. The primaryhypothesis for such phenomenon is that a specific type of antioxidant unique of cranberries,renders resistant and non-resistant ovarian cancer cells (in vitro) six times more vulnerable toanti-neoplastic effects. Such may therefore mean an increase in the desired therapeutic effectsof chemotherapy and a subsequent decrease in the clients risk for toxicity.REACTION:Backed with their antioxidant properties, cranberries certainly have a long way to go than justpreventing UTIs and stomach ulcers-and such was given justice by the recent researchpresented. However, as a member of the health care team, certain aspects of my duty arecalled for, primarily as a health educator and client advocate.A great emphasis must be placed on the fact that these are only results of initial clinical trialsand that cranberries are being tested merely to explore if they do improve the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs and not as a cure for cancer per se. Such educative effort is of greatbearing since a lot of our clients and their significant others tend to be desperate hopefuls.They tend to jump into conclusions and experiment once such findings are heard of- a feat thatmay prove more harmful than beneficial in the long run.As a follow up, guidelines are yet to be established in case of positive conclusive findings.Standards must be set for the following:-
Who are qualified to have such adjunct therapy?-
Is the therapy limited to ovarian cancer clients alone?-
Are there any contraindications as far as therapy is concerned?-
What side and adverse effects are to be anticipated?-
What are the recommended dosages?-
What are the set therapeutic levels?-
What route is to be used in administration?-
Are commercial cranberry juices/extracts/pills effective enough?

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