05 May 2008

Sunflower seeds against prostate cancer metastases

The cause of death of patients with prostate cancer is often tumor metastases, especially dangerous of which are spinal lesions. Earlier, scientists at the Queensland University of Technology demonstrated that the key moment in the process of tumor spread is the activity of enzymes of the protease group. Researchers at the same university, working under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Harris, in laboratory experiments found that the mini-protein of sunflower seeds – a protease inhibitor – blocks the activity of these enzymes.

The protease inhibitor suppresses the activity of many proteases, some of which control important processes for the body, so scientists modified the natural molecule. The resulting compound selectively blocks proteases synthesized by prostate tumors, and thus prevents metastasis without interfering with the course of other processes in the body.

The authors have already received permission to test the compound they created on animals. They are very optimistic and confident that getting positive results in experiments on a mouse model of prostate cancer guarantees them good luck in finding a partner among pharmaceutical companies. They present the final product of their work in the form of a substance that is part of the seeds of genetically modified sunflower.

However, the words of Dr. Harris at the end of the interview "we dream that such seeds can be prescribed to patients with prostate cancer in the form of a delicious and nutritious dietary supplement" are most likely a poetic exaggeration. Like any protein, a modified protease inhibitor in the digestive tract will break down into amino acids, and if ever these studies are completed with complete success, the drug will have to be injected, and probably in liposomal form.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of ScienceDaily


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