Ginger could help fight ovarian cancer
Apr 18, 2006 - 8:20:37 AM
Ginger could kill ovarian cancer cells and may help fight the disease, says a new study but researchers warn more work is required to draw a firm conclusion.
Rebecca Liu and other researchers at the University of Michigan used ginger powder, similar to what is sold in shops, which they dissolved in a solution and applied to ovarian cancer cells.
They found it caused the cells to die in all the tests done, reported the online edition of BBC News.
The tests demonstrated two types of death - apoptosis, which is essentially cell suicide, and autophagy, a kind of self-digestion.
"Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy, which is associated with apoptosis.
"If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy," Liu said.
However the researchers warned the results were very preliminary and they plan to test whether they can obtain similar results in animal studies.
"This study doesn't mean that people should dash down to the supermarket and stockpile ginger."
"We still don't know whether ginger, in any form, can prevent or treat cancers in animals or people."
Henry Scowcroft, science information officer for Cancer Research UK, said previous research had shown that ginger extract can stop cancer cell growing so it was possible that ginger could form the basis of a new drug.
Ginger is already known to ease nausea and control inflammation.
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