Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer in men, especially in Western countries, and it’s growing rapidly in places like South Korea.
Treating it becomes challenging as the disease advances, particularly when hormone therapy stops working. Researchers have now found a potential natural solution that could change the way we look at prostate cancer treatment.
A Natural Alternative for Treatment
Researchers from the DGIST Core Protein Resources Center and Honam National Institute of Biological Resources discovered that an extract called veratramine, from the wild island plant Veratrum japonicum, effectively stops prostate cancer cells from growing.
This is a significant breakthrough, as veratramine was known to work against liver and brain cancers but had not been studied for prostate cancer until now.
How Does Veratramine Work?
The team, led by Choi Seong-gyun, tested the effects of veratramine on prostate cancer cells. What they found was encouraging.
Not only did the extract stop the cancer cells from multiplying, but it also made it harder for the cells to survive and move. This means it could slow down the spread of the cancer.
They dug deeper to understand how veratramine does this. They found that the extract increases the amount of a particular protein (ATM/ATR) that is related to DNA damage in the cancer cells.
At the same time, it reduces the amount of another protein (Akt) that helps the cancer cells grow.
The team also gave veratramine to mice with prostate cancer and saw that the tumors shrank and fewer cancer-driving proteins were present, all without damaging other organs.
Choi Seong-gyun expressed optimism about the findings, stating that this research paves the way for new treatments based on natural extracts.
The team plans to create a database of effective substances from wild island plants that can be used against various diseases.
This research brings hope to the field of prostate cancer treatment. It highlights the possibility of using natural substances like veratramine as an effective alternative, especially when other treatments fail to deliver results.
Future research will likely focus on how to harness this plant power in a clinical setting, offering a new line of defense against this common male cancer.
If you care about prostate cancer, please read studies that dairy foods may increase the risk of prostate cancer, and new strategies to treat advanced prostate cancer.
For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death, and results showing this type of exercise may slow down bone aging.
The research findings can be found in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
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