Capsicum helps halt prostrate cancer spread
A study on human cells has found that a riped hot pepper makes prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 11:08 IST
A new study in human cell lines grown in mice models has found that Capsaicin, a component in jalapeños, a small hot pepper that is green or red when ripe and is used extensively in Mexican cooking, makes prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.
The study, by a team of researchers from the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues from UCLA, found that Capsaicin causes human prostate cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death or apoptosis.
Sören Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D., visiting scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine said that not only had the pepper component had an anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture, but it also slowed the development of prostate tumors.
“Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture. It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models,” he said.
The study found that in prostate cancer cells whose growth is dependent on testosterone, the predominant male sex steroid, capsaicin caused more prostate cancer cells to freeze in a non-proliferative state, called G0/G1. The researchers also found that prostate cancer cells that are androgen independent reacted to capsaicin in a similar manner.
Capsaicin reduced the amount of androgen receptor that the tumor cells produced, but did not interfere with normal movement of androgen receptor into the nucleus of the cancer cells where the steroid receptor acts to regulate androgen target genes such as prostate specific antigen (PSA).
The study is published in the March issue of Cancer Research.