A study at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has identified which milk thistle compounds best kills prostate cancer cells. Not only have the compounds been shown to kill the cancer directly, but they also restrict the ability of the tumor to form new blood vessels, thereby restricting the tumor’s food supply.
Gagan Deep, PhD., of the CU Cancer Center, investigator and research assistant professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, tested the effectiveness of four “isoforms” of silibinin.
So named Isosilybin B was shown to be the most effective in killing the cancer cells in a study done on mice who were fed the compound orally and showed significantly lower tumor volumes than mice treated with the other three compounds.
Defeating a cancer tumor is also achieved by restricting its food supply. Endothelial cells are those that line the inside of blood vessels and are vital for the tumor’s growth and survival.
In a press release, Deep said that “while Isosilybin B was most effective towards prostate cancer cells it was least effective towards endothelial cells. On the other hand Silybin A showed the highest efficacy towards endothelial cells”.
A test is now planned to test a mixture made of the two compounds and Deep said, “We hope to find a synergistic effect between these two promising compounds.”
One of the very important points is that the compounds do not adversely affect healthy cells or the vessel count in them.
This study was supported by NCI RO1 grants CA102514 and CA 104286.
attributions: University of Colorado Denver news release.