Gamma-Tocotrienol Kills Prostate Cancer Stem Cells

July 25, 2010

SINGAPORE, July 25 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Scientists from Singapore,
Australia and Hong Kong have found that gamma-tocotrienol is potent in killing
prostate cancer stem cells. This small group of cells is responsible for the
initiation of prostate cancer and is resistant to conventional chemotherapy
drugs. It causes relapses in the cancer by producing new chemo-resistant
cancer cells. Gamma-tocotrienol is a member of the Vitamin E family and is
derived naturally from palm oil.

This study aimed to find a way to eradicate prostate cancer stem cells. It
follows an earlier report that demonstrated the effectiveness of
gamma-tocotrienol in targeting the bulk of the prostate tumour mass. This
latest finding highlights the considerable potential of gamma-tocotrienol as a
natural remedy to prevent and treat prostate cancer.

This research study involves collaboration between scientists at Davos
Life Science (Singapore) and researchers at Australian Prostate Cancer
Research Centre — Queensland and The Hong Kong University. The findings were
reported in the latest edition of the International Journal of Cancer (IJC).

The scientists found that low doses of gamma-tocotrienol cause apoptosis
in the prostate cancer stem cells and suppress their colony formation
capability. This results in a lower prostate cancer stem cell population (as
defined by the protein markers CD133 and CD44). Further tests in mice models
were conducted, where mice implanted with hormonal refractory prostate cancer
cells were given gamma-tocotrienol orally. The results showed that gamma-
tocotrienol not only reduced tumour size formed, but also decreased the
incidence rate of tumour formation by 75%, as compared to the control group of
mice, which had 100% tumour formation. These results strongly suggest that
gamma-tocotrienol could be developed for prostate cancer prevention and

“Current chemotherapy drugs, such as Docetaxel, have limited effect on
prostate cancer stem cells, although they are currently the first-line drug
given to patients with advanced hormonal refractory prostate cancer. This
study shows that gamma-tocotrienol is effective in preventing the formation of
prostate tumours in mice models. The key compound involves the use of a
natural product, gamma-tocotrienol, which is found in edible plant oils,
thereby minimising potential adverse side effects,” said Dr. Daniel Yap, one
of the leading scientists for the study and Head of Research & Development at
Davos Life Science. “As gamma-tocotrienol has shown positive results in
removing the stubborn prostate cancer stem cells, it should be investigated as
a more effective form of treatment strategy to achieve what conventional
chemotherapy drug has failed to do — to keep the disease in remission state.”

“These results provide a compelling case for developing the potential of
gamma-tocotrienols to help patients with terminal hormonal refractory prostate
cancer. The prospects of future studies on the cancer-fighting effects of
gamma-tocotrienols are exciting indeed and we see increasing research interest
by scientists in this area,” said Mr. Arthur Ling, CEO of Davos Life Science

About Davos Life Science

Davos Life Science was established in 2004 as the world’s largest
tocotrienol manufacturer. The company extracts natural palm tocotrienols for
use in health supplements, functional foods, personal care products and
pharmaceutical formulations under the brand name “Natural e3″. The company has
also set up the world largest research and development centre dedicated to
tocotrienols. For more information, please visit http://www.davoslife.com

SOURCE Davos Life Science

Source: newswire

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