Strawberries Can Slow the Growth of Breast Cancer

Now new research has shown that strawberries also have remarkable cancer fighting properties.

Scientists used an extract from the Alba strawberry to feed female mice with breast cancer tumors, as well as lab-grown cancer cells.

"We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models", Maurizio Battino, from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

The in vitro model used cells from the A17 tumor cell line, a high aggressive and invasive tumor. The cells were treated with different concentrations of strawberry extract for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours.

Professor Caroline Springer, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, who co-led the research, said: "We knew that LOX had a role in cancer's spread round the body, but to discover how it also appears to drive the growth of chest cancer cells is a real game changer".

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However, the researchers stressed that results from animal tests do not necessarily mean the same effects will be seen in humans.

This suggests that strawberry extracts may serve as an effective preventive and curative food intervention for breast cancer in people.

The new study presents promising results on the potential positive effects of the fruit to prevent or treat breast cancer.

The study also showed that strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes involved in the process of invasion and metastasis, including Csf1, Mcam, Nr4a3 and Set.

The extract simultaneously stimulated expression of the gene Htatip2, which many believe can suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in breast cancer patients. Another month later, all the mice were injected with A17 breast cancer cells.

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They then monitored the tumors two times a week by palpation and after five weeks, the tumors were extracted and analyzed to evaluate their weight and volume.

"We also saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumour", Battino noted.

Phenolic plant compounds in the fruits are thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects.

"The majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex", he explains, "and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease".

Researchers from the University of the Americas in Ecuador and the International Iberoamerican University in Mexico also participated in the study.

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