April 8, 2011

Strawberries Slow Cancer?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Simply eating strawberries may be a way for people at risk of esophageal cancer to protect themselves, according to new research.

Esophageal cancer is the third most common gastrointestinal cancer and the sixth most frequent cause of cancer death in the world, according to the researchers. More than 16,000 new cases of esophageal cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States.

For the study, 36 participants consumed 60 grams (about two ounces) of freeze-dried strawberries daily for six months. Researchers collected biopsy samples before and after the strawberry consumption. Results showed 29 out of 36 participants had a decrease in histological grade of the precancerous lesions during the study period.

"We predict that the majority of patients with precancerous lesions in their esophagus will develop esophageal cancer over subsequent decades," Dr. Tong Chen, lead author and assistant professor in the division of medical oncology, department of internal medicine at Ohio State, was quoted as saying. "Our study is important because it shows that strawberries may slow the progression of precancerous lesion in the esophagus. Strawberries may be an alternative, or may work together with other chemopreventive drugs, for the prevention of esophageal cancer. But, we will need to test this in randomized placebo-controlled trials in the future."

SOURCE: AACR 102nd meeting 2011 in Orlando, Fla., April 2011