Compound in Plants Found to Halt Growth of Melanoma Cancer Cells

in Health News

Showcasing once again how numerous food-based substances are able to both treat and protect against cancer, scientists from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have found for the first time that a natural, plant-derived substance known as gossypin is capable of treating the deadliest form of skin cancer – melanoma.

In the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers found gossypin was able to inhibit human melanoma cell proliferation in melanoma cell lines where two genetic mutations occur. In the lab tests using cell cultures, gossypin was also shown to inhibit the growth of human melanoma cells and reduce tumor volume while increasing survival rate.

“We identified gossypin as a novel agent with dual inhibitory activity towards two common mutations that are the ideal targets for melanoma treatment,” said Texas Biomed’s Hareesh Nair, Ph.D. ”Our results indicate that gossypin may have great therapeutic potential as a dual inhibitor of mutations called BRAFV600E kinase and CDK4, which occur in the vast majority of melanoma patients. They open a new avenue for the generation of a novel class of compounds for the treatment of melanoma.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that 76,690 individuals will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2013. Additionally, an estimated 9,480 people are expected to die of melanoma this year. The research out of Texas Biomedical Research Institute once again shows how natural substances can offer promise — even for those suffering from the deadliest type of skin cancer.

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