Cornus officinalis may help oppose breast cancer

Herbs and Helpers

A new survey in Cancer Research suggests that fruit of Cornus officinalis, a Chinese herbal medicine which is commonly used in some major brands of Chinese medicine formulations may be employed to treat triple negative breast cancer.

At least one early survey has already shown that Cornus officinalis inhibits the growth of estrogen receptor positive( ER +) breast cancer because the herb makes anti-proliferative estradiol metabolites which otherwise promote the growth of the breast cancer.( Telang et al: Mol. Med. Rep. 5: 20 -2 8, 2012)
In the current study, the non-fractionated extract of Cornus officinalis was tested in an ER-I +- negative, PR negative and HER-2 negative MD-AMB-2 31 cancer cell line and found that the extract inhibited cytostatic growth and apoptosis. The efficacy was dose-dependent, meaning that high doses of the extract lead to great inhibition of the cancer growth.

The triple negative breast cancer does not have estrogen receptor-I +-( ER-I +-), progesterone receptor( PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2( HER-2 ). For the above reasons, hormone-based chemotherapy does not work for this type of breast cancer because the disease will not respond to such treatments. For the same reason, this type of breast cancer is more riskier than hormone-responsive breast cancers.

Some treatments like high-dose” Anthracyclin/ Taxol based conventional chemotherapy and/ or small molecule inhibitor based targeted therapy “, according to the study report, are available to treat the triple negative breast cancer. But because they cause systemic toxicity and short term efficacy due to drug resistance, natural non-toxic treatments for the cancer are always desired.

So what could be responsible for the anticancer effect of Cornus officinalis? According to Wikipedia, this herb contains oleanolic acid, which has been reported to have anticancer property against breast cancer among other things. Cornus officinalis also contains high levels of minerals like potassium and sodium and zinc, which may also contribute to the anticancer effect of this herb.

Another compound found in the herb ursolic acid may also part of the reason why it promotes apoptosis of breast cancer and inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

In addition to the anticancer effect, Cornus officinalis has also been known to provide a range of health benefits and it can be used to treat diabetes and erectile dysfunction among other things.( David Liu)

Citation Format: Telang NT, Nair HB, Wong GYC. Growth inhibitory effects of Cornus officinalis on a model for triple negative breast cancer.[ abstract ]. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-Eighth Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium: 2015 Dec 8-12; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia( PA ): AACR; Cancer Res 2016; 76( 4 Suppl ): Abstract nr P3-09-04.


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