Do You Know An Herb that Stops Lung Cancer in Mice?

A new study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis concluded that silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, stopped the spread of lung cancer in mice lung cancer cells.
The researchers explained how it works as follows. In a cell there may be a chair of signals, one leading to the next, to the next and eventually to an end product. It is possible to eliminate the end product by breaking a signaling chain in the above process. The end product is COX2 and iNOS and are enzymes involved the inflammatory response to perceived wounds and both can aid tumor growth. Further back in the signaling process leading to these unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3 that allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signaling cascade leading eventually to the production of COX2 and iNOS and the growth of lung tumors. By intervening to stop STAT1 and STAT3 you interfere with the chain and the end result of COX2 and iNOS and the development of lung tumors. The researchers found that silibinin, a derivative of milk thistle, was able to do this. Compared to the multi-million dollar drugs that interfere with these and other parts of the chain, the naturally occuring silibinin blocked the expression of COX2 and iNOS and also the migration of existing lung cancer cells. The researchers stated “What we show is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer , no matter how you target them. And also that naturally derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today’s best treatments.”

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