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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
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Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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Beans, Beans, Good for Your ... Cancer
15 September 2005 (All day)
A new virtue may soon be added to the health benefits associated with beans, nuts, and cereals. All of these foods contain the inositol phosphate IP5--a compound that even at low dose limits the supply of blood to tumor cells and inhibits tumor growth in mice, according to new findings.
One goal of drug designers has been to prevent tumors from making new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Angiogenesis depends upon the activation of a cellular pathway known as PI3K/Akt, but identifying nontoxic compounds that can inhibit this pathway has proved tricky.
One possibility is an inositol phosphate called IP5, a compound naturally present in beans, nuts, and cereals. Yet little is known about its potential efficacy as an antitumor agent. So Marco Falasca of the University College London Sackler Institute in the United Kingdom and colleagues decided to put IP5 to the test. They first induced angiogenesis in mice through the injection of a growth factor called FGF-2 and measured blood vessel development in the presence and absence of synthesised IP5. While FGF-2 boosted the formation of new blood vessels, IP5 had a clear inhibitory effect, reducing the number of new blood vessels by half.
In another set of experiments, the team implanted human ovarian carcinoma cells into mice. Twelve days later they injected the animals with either IP5 or cisplatin, a common ovarian cancer treatment. IP5 worked as well as cisplatin in reducing the volumes of the tumors, the team reports today in Cancer Research.
IP5 seems a good candidate to eventually join the list of angiogenesis inhibitors already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, says cell biologist Judah Folkman of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. "It may be useful in combination [with other inhibitors]," he says, and there may be fewer problems with side-effects and drug resistance.