Life Extension Update
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M D Anderson Cancer Center predicts cancer prevention cocktail
M. D. Anderson Division of Cancer Medicine chief and chemoprevention pioneer Waun Ki Hong, MD, commented, "Cancer doesn't begin with the appearance of a tumor, just as cardiac disease doesn't start with a heart attack. And just as we can control the risk of a heart attack with medication, we want to control the process of cancer development with drugs and supplements. As complicated as cancer is, oncology is decades behind cardiology in this respect, but we will get there. It is just going to require a lot of patience and hard work."
In the first trial of its kind, Dr Hong and colleague Ruben Lotan, PhD, demonstrated in the early 1990s that high dose retinoids could prevent precancerous lesions in the mouth and oral cavity from becoming cancer, providing preliminary evidence that cancer could be reversed. Currently, associate professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, MD, is evaluating the ability of epigallocatechin gallate, a polyphenol contained in green tea, to do the same.
Other research at M.D. Anderson involves the use of the NSAID celecoxib as a lung, breast and colon cancer preventive. Aspirin is also under investigation as a colon cancer preventive, as is another NSAID, Sulindac, and the combination of calcium and vitamin D.
In another area, M. D. Anderson is comparing the drug Tamoxifen, which was the subject of previous research at the center, with another selective estrogen receptor modulator, raloxifene, in the hope that newer drug which may have fewer side effects will prove as effective as Tamoxifen at preventing breast cancer.
Associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Banu Arun, MD, who is seeking to identify biomarkers that will be used to evaluate the effects of potential breast cancer prevention therapies, is interested in the experiments demonstrating the protective benefit of curcumin against breast and other cancers conducted by M.D. Anderson professor Bharat Aggarwal, MD. "This Far Eastern spice, one of the main ingredients of curry, has been used medicinally and as a food for centuries, and has no side effects, which makes it an ideal chemoprevention agent," Dr Arun stated. "We are finding curcumin can suppress markers of cell proliferation."
Researchers are excited by the idea that cancer and other diseases of aging may be linked by common pathways that could be disrupted as easily as taking a daily dose of pills. Many believe that inflammation is the foremost of these pathways. Professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, Scott Lippman, MD, stated, "The science behind inflammation is moving so rapidly that we may now be able to think about designing trials to test agents that will prevent, or delay, several diseases all at once.”
Vice president for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at M. D. Anderson, Bernard Levin, MD, stressed that chemoprevention should not be thought of as taking the place of lifestyle factors such as not smoking. He predicted, “While we should be modest in claiming our work in the next decade will lead to new chemoprevention advances, we have promising leads from the laboratory that will enable us to conduct good trials in the future. The best is yet to come."
This one sentence description enlightens us to the critical importance of maintaining gene integrity if we are to prevent cancer from developing in our bodies.
Cells operate under the direction of genes located in the DNA. Our existence is dependent on the precise genetic regulation of all cellular events. Healthy young cells have nearly perfect genes. Aging and environmental factors cause genes to mutate, resulting in cellular metabolic disorder. Gene mutations can turn healthy cells into malignant cells. As gene mutations accumulate, the risk of cancer sharply increases.
The Life Extension Foundation introduced its members to the antimutagenic effects of chlorophyllin in 1989. Life Extension based its recommendation to supplement with chlorophyllin on a study in the journal Mutation Research, showing that this plant extract was more effective than all other known anticancer vitamins at that time (Ong et al. 1989). An earlier study also in Mutation Research reported that chlorophyllin suppressed the mutagenic activity of carcinogens such as fried beef and pork, red wine, chewing tobacco and snuff, cigarette smoke, diesel emissions, and coal dust by more than 90% (Ong et al. 1986)! No other supplement came close to the ability of chlorophyllin to inhibit deadly gene mutations.
Chlorophyllin is the modified, water-soluble form of chlorophyll that has been shown to have DNA protective and antioxidant properties. It can cross cell membranes, organelle membranes, and blood brain barriers (natural chrolophyll cannot). Chrolophyllin can even enter the mitochondria where 91% of oxygen reductions occur and where the majority of free radicals are produced. Chlorophyllin quenches all major oxygen species and acts to protect mitochondria. Chlorophyllin also protects mitochondria from auto-oxidation, a reaction considered to be one of the major causes of aging.
Curcumin was first used by Indians over 3,000 years ago in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Modern science has found that this extract from the common spice turmeric has remarkable qualities as an antioxidant. Over time, as our cells continue to be affected by free radicals, or oxidants, organs begin to degenerate and aging accelerates. The body does have built-in defense mechanisms to protect itself from free radical damage, but eventually, aging and disease deplete the body’s ability to keep oxidants at bay.
Curcumin can help maintain normal healthy platelet function and the normal process of bile excretion.
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