UCLA researchers have just published a new study on Chinese herbs. They have been researching a Chinese herbal formula they called TSY-1 to increased telomerase activity in normal blood cells but decreased it in cancer cells.
This combination of Chinese herbs has been used in China for many years to treat aplastic anemia, a condition where the body stops producing enough new blood cells and myelodysplastic syndrome or preleukemia; both are associated with telomerase abnormality.
Telomerase is an enzyme responsible for the production of telomeres. The results indicate that telomerase-based treatments may play an important role in treating both blood cell deficiency and cancer.
The five-year study, led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Jianyu Rao, measured the ability of TSY-1 to affect telomerase activity in cancer cells lines. Rao’s team used various approaches, including assays of telomerase activity, measurement of cell growth, and gene expression profiling of TSY-1 treated cells, to determine how it acts. The results showed that the target of TSY-1 activity is the TERT gene. TERT is the major regulatory component of telomerase activity.
The findings provide the foundation and support for further clinical studies to demonstrate the clinical benefit of the Chinese herbs in treatment for cancer and blood cell deficiencies.
The study is published online in the journal OncoTarget Link to PDF of study here
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