December 14, 2019
Blueberries Give A Boost To Cervical Cancer Therapy

Blueberries Give A Boost To Cervical Cancer Therapy

Dietitians already know that blueberries are a
great addition to a healthy diet. They’re an antioxidant powerhouse. But now, researchers at the University of
Missouri believe blueberries may play a role in treating cervical cancer. In a new study, Dr. Yujiang Fang’s team
at the MU School of Medicine found that blueberry extract greatly improved the effectiveness
of radiation therapy on cancer cells. [Dr. Yujiang Fang]
“We reduce the dosage of radiation, but the killing effect on cancers is not reduced,
and it’s even enhanced.” That’s because a chemical in blueberries called
resveratrol acts as a radiosensitizer, meaning it makes cancer cells
more sensitive to treatment. With less radiation, doctors can reduce the
side effects to healthy cells. [Fang]
“Drugs have so many side effects. We want to go back to see if there are natural
chemicals which can help us cure or prevent disease.” Using cervical cancer cells in the lab, Dr.
Fang found that radiation reduced the number of cells by 20%. Over the same period, blueberry extract decreased
the number by 25%. But the synergistic effect of both radiation
and blueberry extract eliminated the number of cancer cells by a whopping 70%. In a previous study, he showed that red grapes
and red wine also function as radiosensitizers, but blueberries have the added benefit of
reducing the growth of new cancer cells at the same time. Now his team at MU is studying other fruits
and vegetables for these properties. [Fang]
“Pineapple extracts, watermelon extracts, apple peel extract, and we also do the pumpkin extract.” Fruits like blueberries are healthy, cheap
and widely available. MU researchers say what they’re learning
in the lab now may have a great impact for cancer patients in the future. From the University of Missouri, Teresa Snow

1 thought on “Blueberries Give A Boost To Cervical Cancer Therapy

  1. So reveratrol and flavonoids are useful for cancer. That was also the principle behind a recent interesting research to combine analogs of resveratrol and flavones in a single molecule to obtain potential anticancer agents

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