JOURNAL: American Urological Association
ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer patients who consumed the soy isoflavone genistein for six months experienced a drop in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels of up to 61 percent. Prostate specific antigen is a marker for prostate tumors, and levels in prostate cancer patients are monitored to evaluate disease progression.
COMMENTARY: The study involved 62 men with prostate cancer who received 5 grams of genistein concentrated polysaccharide daily for six months. Forty-six of the subjects had undergone treatment for the disease, which involved radiation, androgen deprivation therapy or surgery, and the remainder were on watchful waiting.
Watchful waiting is often advised for prostate cancer patients who are asymptomatic with small, contained tumors.
The majority of participants on watchful waiting experienced a decline in PSA levels while all but one of the men who had been treated saw a rise in PSA.
The results of the study, which found a 38 percent increase in PSA among the watchful waiting group compared to a 98 percent increase in the treated group, indicate that genistein may help prevent prostate cancer progression in men who have not elected to undergo treatment. The authors conclude, "Patients on watchful waiting may do better due to grade of disease or distribution and concentration of genistein within the prostate.
JOURNAL: Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
AUTHORS: Dr Hsu
ABSTRACT: Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia have discovered yet another health benefit for green tea: the ability to heal wounds and skin diseases. The research team, led by cell biologist Dr Stephen Hsu, studied the effect of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant polyphenol found in green tea, on growing and aging human epidermal skin cells. Previous research had found that the compound induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in tumor cells.
COMMENTARY: In the current study, the researchers found that EGCG accelerated cell differentiation in the growing cells and renewed DNA synthesis in the aged cells. Dr Hsu commented, "Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20, they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised. When exposed to EGCG, the old cells found in the upper layers of the epidermis appear to start dividing again. They make DNA and produce more energy. They are reactivated. There are lots of unknowns-this is the first step into the door-but if we can energize dying skin cells, we can probably improve the skin condition.”
Dr Hsu believes the finding is promising for conditions such as apthous ulcers, wrinkles, rosacea, psoriasis and wounds, and may also be of value for diabetics, who experience delayed healing. He explained, "If skin cells surrounding wounds or infections don't heal in time, fibroblasts in the connective tissue may rush in to fill the void and cause scar tissue formation. If we can spur the skin cells to differentiate and proliferate, we can potentially accelerate the wound-healing process and prevent scarring."
JOURNAL: International journal of oncology.; 2003 Nov;23(5) p22637
AUTHORS: Lloyd FP J; Slivova V; Valachovicova T; Sliva D;
ABSTRACT: Cell adhesion, proteolytic degradation and cell migration are interrelated
processes responsible for the invasion and metastasis of cancer.
COMMENTARY: One of the crucial molecules involved in cancer metastasis is urokinase-type
plasminogen activator (uPA). An elevated concentration of uPA is a strong
indicator of poor prognosis. In addition to the proteolytic activity of
uPA, which degrades the extracellular matrix, uPA also binds to its receptor
(uPAR) and controls cell adhesion and migration through the reorganization
of actin cytoskeleton.
We have recently demonstrated that constitutively active nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa is responsible for the increased secretion of uPA and that inhibition of NF-kappaB suppresses secretion of uPA and cell migration of highly invasive cancer cells.
Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been recently shown to have a chemopreventive effect in colon and pancreatic cancers. Here we show that aspirin inhibits NF-kappaB, resulting in the suppression of uPA secretion from the highly invasive human prostate cancer cells PC-3. Furthermore, aspirin inhibited migration of PC-3 cells, suggesting an effect on the uPA-uPAR signaling complex.
Finally, aspirin suppressed adhesion of PC-3 cells to fibronectin (FN), which binds to an alpha3beta1 integrin receptor, and to vitronectin (VN), which binds to alphavbeta3 integrin receptor.
Altogether, our data suggests that aspirin inhibits the formation of uPA-uPAR-FN-alpha3beta1 and uPA-uPAR-VN-alphavbeta3 complexes, resulting in the suppression of cell adhesion and cell motility of the highly invasive prostate cancer cells PC-3. These results indicate that aspirin may contribute directly to reducing invasion and metastasis of prostate cancers by inhibiting cell migration and invasion.
STUDY: Not Good
JOURNAL: The Lancet
ABSTRACT: Scientists have found evidence that the human form of mad cow disease can spread through blood transfusions.
COMMENTARY: The findings were made in response to the British Government's announcement last year that doctors might have found the world's first case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) caused by transfusion.
The Government said an unidentified patient had died after receiving blood from someone who was later diagnosed with vCJD. Doctors were unsure whether the illness had been caused by the transfusion or the eating of infected beef.
Two studies published yesterday in The Lancet medical journal showed infection through transfusion was possible.
Professor Robert Will, the author of one of the studies, said: "Our findings raise the possibility that this infection was trans-fusion-transmitted."
Variant CJD is the human equivalent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, an incurable, degenerative brain disorder linked to eating meat infected with BSE.
The illnesses are caused when normal brain proteins, called prions, transform themselves into infectious agents.
STUDY: Study finds lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
AUTHORS: Dr. Thomas Truelsen
ABSTRACT: A new study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that wine contains healthful compounds.
COMMENTARY: People who drink wine seem to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Regular beer drinkers actually had a higher risk of developing dementia, the researchers reported in a study that adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that wine contains healthful compounds.
The results, published in the the journal Neurology, showed people who drank up to 21 glasses of wine a week had a measurably lower risk of dementia.
Monthly and weekly intake of wine is associated with a lower risk of dementia. People who had just a glass of wine a day had a lower risk of dementia than people who drank no wine at all.
While men tended to drink more than women, there were no differences in the health consequences of drinking between men and women.
These results don’t mean that people should start drinking wine or drink more wine than they usually do but the idea that the colored compounds in wine should have people looking for red fruits and veggies.