Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cranberry Juice Promotes Cancer-Killing Power of Drugs

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cranberry Juice Promotes Cancer-Killing Power of Drugs

Article excerpt

Cranberries are nontoxic, and the compounds they contain are part of the family of flavonoids found in grape seeds, which have been shown to be potentially beneficial in breast cancer. Compounds isolated from cranberries can kill human ovary, brain, and prostate cancer cells in laboratory studies. Chemotherapy treatment commonly centers on platinum drugs, such as cisplatin (Platinol[R]) and paraplatin (Carboplatin[R]). Platinum-based chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for ovarian cancer. However, many women develop therapeutic resistance, and ever-higher doses must be used that can raise the risk of both nerve damage and kidney failure.

To assess the cranberries' ability to alleviate this problem, Ajay P. Singh, Ph.D., from Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey, teamed up with K. S. Satyan, Ph.D., from Brown Medical School's Women and Infants Hospital. They determined that in the presence of cranberry extract, platinum chemotherapy was six times more effective against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells.

The authors collected ovarian cancer cells from patients experiencing platinum drug resistance. They then exposed some of the cells to a purified extract drawn from a store-bought cranberry drink that contained 27 percent pure juice. The doses varied, reaching a maximum of about one cup of juice. All of the cancer cells were then treated with paraplatin chemotherapy. Cells that were pretreated with the juice extract were killed at a rate that was equal to six times that of cells unexposed to cranberry components. …

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