January 3, 2009
Natural Substance Could Give Prostate Relief
People with prostate cancer could find relief from a natural substance found in cough medicine.
Researchers found that noscapine, known as a non-addictive derivative of opium, actually decreased tumor growth in mice by 60 percent.
The research was published in the journal Anticancer Research.
The American Cancer Society reports that one man in six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Dr. Israel Barken, of The Prostate Cancer Research and Education Foundation, La Mesa, California, and colleagues examined the effect of noscapine in 20 mice inoculated with human prostate cancer cells.
During the 56 day study, one group of 10 animals was orally given noscapine diluted in water and the other group was given plain water.
Researchers found tumors from the noscapine-fed animals weighed significantly less than the tumors from the animals fed plain water (0.42 grams versus 0.97 grams).
They found prostate cancer spread less in the noscapine group compared with the control group.
Researchers suggest that noscapine "may be a potential therapeutic agent for safe and efficacious treatment of prostate cancer in humans and a desirable alternative to currently used therapeutic agents that have serious side effects."
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