Strawberries Shown to Prevent Breast Cancer Growth

Study on mice demonstrates the action of strawberries against breast cancer FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science

Scientists Find New Way To Fight Breast Cancer After Identifying Driver Protein

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

Despite the positive results, the researchers said the information from this study and other studies using animal models should not be extrapolated to humans.

Strawberry extract also reduced the expression of several genes involved in the processes of metastasis, such as Csf1, Mcam, Nr4a3 and Set.

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

At the same time, one gene believed to suppress the spread of breast cancer, Htatip2, became more active.

The in vivo model used female laboratory mice, which at one month of age were divided into two groups: one was given a standard diet, while the other group was given an enriched diet, 15% of which was strawberry extract.

Recent studies have shown that strawberries might be the next miracle fruit to cut down breast-cancer risk as the extracts are found to prevent growth of carcinogenic cells and reduce tumour size.

When tested on mice, the medicine halted the protein's capacity to help cancer cells, slowing both the growth of tumours and the rate at which cells multiplied, scientists said.

After five weeks, the tumours were extracted and analysed to evaluate their weight and volume.

Maurizio Battino, who is co-author of the paper and a principal investigator at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy and the European University of the Atlantic in Santander in Spain, says the results of this study are definitely valid for gaining an understanding of potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer.

Despite the positive results of the study, in which researchers from the University of the Americas (Ecuador) and the International Iberoamerican University (Mexico) also participated, the researcher emphasises that the information from this and other studies using animal models cannot be extrapolated to humans.

It has been noted that the concentration of phenolic compounds, which are thought to be responsible for the beneficial health effects, may vary significantly between different varieties of strawberries.

"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".

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

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