New discoveries in Chinese Herbal Medicine for Oral Cancer

New treatments for oral cancer with chinese herbsChinese herbs can play a role in oral cancer inhibition according to a study recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Febuary  2010. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy have been the tri-fecta standard of care for oral squamos cell carcinoma (OSCC) yet the past 20 years survival rates have not improved.

This latest study reveals celastrol, a chemical  found in Chinese herbs may help treat cancer by inactivating a protein necessary for cancer growth.

Oral cancer strikes men over 40 twice as often as women and tends to spread rapidly. Tobacco use is believed to be the cause of 70-80% of oral cancer cases, whether it be from smoking or chewing tobacco. Poor oral hygiene and alcohol abuse may also increase ones risk for cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, and gums.  
This recent study was conducted at the Medical College of Georgia in Atlanta, funded in part by the by National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Foundation  and a grant from the American Heart Association. The study reported a  “combination of GA and celastrol has a synergistic antitumor effect” and concluded this “may be a promising modality for treating oral squamous cell carcinoma.”1

“Gambogic acid (GA) is a major active ingredient of gamboge, which has been widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is reported that GA possesses diverse biological effects, such as anti-oxidant and anti-infectious activities”.2-3 Recent pharmacological studies have revealed that GA also has potent cytotoxic and anti-cancer activities in several cancer cell lines” 4

Celastrol  is a chemical  found in  the Chinese herb called  Thunder God Vine (Tripterygii Wilfordi Radix Folium). Various preparations of Thunder God Vine have been used in Asia over the last 50 years in the treatment of a number of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.5

Cancer  treatments may now incorporate this herb compound with other treatments to improve patients survival rates. “The celastrol induces the protein to form fibrils and clusters it together, which inactivates it,” said researcher Ahmed Chadli.  “When they are clustered, they’re not available for other functions that help cancer grow.”

As a side note celastrol an active ingredient in some Traditional Chinese herbal medicines has also been found beneficial in studies  for prostate cancer.6
References:
            The Journal of Biological Chemistry   http://www.jbc.org/content/285/6/4224.abstract

From the  Center for Molecular Chaperone Radiobiology and Cancer Virology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912,
 
The  Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, and
 
         The Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL
 Supported by the American Heart Association Grant SDG 0930019N and a Seed award from the Cardiovascular   Discovery Institute at the Medical College of Georgia. Correspondence should be addressed: Center for Molecular Chaperone Radiobiology and Cancer Virology, Medical College of Georgia, 1410 Laney Walker Blvd., CN-3151, Augusta, GA 30912.
           
Laboratory of Oral Tumor and Oral Biology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology and     Shanghai Research Institute of Stomatology, Shanghai 200011, PR China

1 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese  Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, PR China  &    

2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310009, PR China

3The Chinese anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive herbal remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F.  Pub med.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10680192


 

4Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese  Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, PR China

& Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310009, PR China

5.  The Chinese anti-inflammatory and immune suppressive herbal remedy  Tripterygium wilfordii

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10680192

6 Celastrol in prostate cancer therapies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19545787

 

5 thoughts on “New discoveries in Chinese Herbal Medicine for Oral Cancer

  1. Elizabeth King

    the good thing about herbal remedies is that they do not have side effects.

  2. Josh Landoff

    herbal remedies are the best! i have some sprains and some indigestion and herbal remedies cured it:)

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