Researchers claim ginger may be better than drugs at treating breast cancer

Researchers from the Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia have claimed from their research that ginger extract may be more effective at fighting breast cancer than any drug currently on the market (Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology).



In their paper, the researchers note that in spite of the high global toll of breast cancer, conventional drug therapies are of only middling effectiveness, often with serious side effects.



Typically, the treatment of breast cancer involves hormonal therapy with ... selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulators. However, almost all patients with metastatic disease and approximately 40 percent of patients that receive [the ER modulator tamoxifen experience relapse that ends by death.



The researchers also note that ER antagonists have little to no effectiveness against ER-negative breast cancer, (typically Triple Negative Breast Cancer or TNBC) and that the drugs may have such severe side effects that their usefulness becomes limited. In addition, many breast cancer cells are able to develop resistance to cancer drugs within the course of a single treatment.



Thus, identification of novel agents that are relatively safe but can suppress growth of both ER-positive and ER-negative human breast cancers is highly desirable, they state.


The researchers exposed breast cancer cells in the laboratory to a crude extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale). The ginger had a number of anti-cancer benefits but did not harm healthy cells.  Those benefits included programmed cell death (apoptosis), up-regulation of the apoptosis gene Bax, down-regulation of numerous cancer-associated genes and proteins, increased expression of cancer-fighting proteins and inhibition of cancer-associated enzymes. "Ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas," the researchers concluded.


Ginger contains bioactive natural compounds which do have proven epigenetic benefits. This is far from the first time it has been shown to have a positive effect with cancer. It is also known to have strong anti-inflammatory benefits.
October - December Cancer Watch 2012
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