Natural compounds present in fresh vegetables and fruits may help in treating cancer in a more effective manner, when used simultaneously with chemotherapy drugs.
A study published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that the presence of chlorophyllin, a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll, is ten times more effective in tackling the growth of colon cancer cells, than the chemotherapeutic drug used for the purpose.
The study conducted by experts in Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that chlorophyllin kills cancer cells by blocking the same phase of cellular division as that done by the chemotherapy drug, but through a different mechanism.
On the basis of this finding, researchers suggest that it may be possible to develop this compound in a manner, so as to have a synergistic effect with conventional cancer drugs. This may help them to work better or may require less toxic dosages.
The study report states that chlorophyllin has the potential to be effective in a clinical setting, when used independently or together with other cancer therapeutic agents.
Few other studies published in journals Carcinogenesis and Cancer Prevention Research, have also studied the role of organic selenium compounds present naturally in garlic and Brazil nuts, in killing human prostate and colon cancer cells.
The form of organic selenium naturally present in garlic and Brazil nuts, were converted to metabolites in cancer cells, which acted as HDAC inhibitors.
The Professor and Director of Cancer Chemoprotection Program, Rod Dashwood, says that the concept of combining conventional or new cancer drugs with natural compounds, have shown anti-cancer properties and seems very promising.
Several chemotherapeutic approaches in dealing with cancer, involves targeting specific cancer cells and doing a procedure that inhibits the process of cell growth.
“We are now locating this mechanism of action for natural compounds, including dietary agents. Further researches may help in making the two approaches work together to enhance the effectiveness of cancer therapies,” Dashwood concluded.