An investigation in the United Kingdom concluded that a monosaccharideknown as manose, present in blueberries, oranges and apples can delay the growth of tumors and increases the effects of chemotherapy.
The tests were done on mice with multiple cancers and will have to be tested in humans, but it is a step toward understanding how mannose can be used to help treat cancer, indicated the researchers, indicated Cancer Reseach UK
Tumors use more glucose than normal, healthy tissues. However, it is very difficult to control the amount of glucose in your body just with diet. In this study, the researchers found that the manose It can interfere with glucose to reduce the amount of sugar cancer cells can use.
Kevin Ryan, lead author of the Beatson UK Cancer Research Institute, said: "Tumors need a lot of glucose to grow, so limiting the amount they can use should slow the progression of cancer. The problem is that normal tissues also need glucose, so we can not completely eliminate it from the body. "
"In our study, we found a dose of mannose that could block enough glucose to slow tumor growth in mice, but not as much as normal tissues were affected." This is an initial investigation, but it is hoped that finding this perfect balance means that in the future it could be administration of mannose to cancer patients to improve chemotherapy without undermining their overall health. "
The researchers first examined how mice responded with pancreatic, lung or skin cancer when added manose to drink water and was given as an oral treatment. They found that adding the supplement significantly reduced the growth of tumors and caused no obvious side effects.
To test how mannose could also affect cancer treatment, rats were treated with cisplatin and doxorubicin, two of the most commonly used chemotherapy drugs. They found that the manose improved the effects of chemotherapy, decreased tumor growth, reduced tumor size, and even increased the life span of some mice.
Other cancers have also been investigated, such as leukemia, osteosarcoma, ovarian and bowel cancer. The researchers cultured cancer cells in the laboratory and treated them with mannose to see if their growth was affected.
Some cells responded well to treatment, while others did not. It has also been found that the presence of an enzyme that breaks the mannose in cells It was a good indicator of treatment efficacy.
Professor Kevin Ryan added, "Our next step is to investigate why the treatment works only on some cells in order to determine which patients could benefit most from this approach. We expect to start clinical trials with mannose in people as quickly as possible to determine their potential as a new cancer therapy "
Mannose is sometimes used for short periods to treat urinary tract infections, but its long-term effects have not been investigated. It is important that more research is done before mannose can be used in cancer patients.
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