cancer

Birch Bark Compound May Be Potent Prostate Cancer Fighter (press release)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 by: NaturalNews
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
A compound found in the bark of the white birch tree -- betulonic acid, a derivative of betulinol -- may finally have been rendered a water-soluble, bio-available drug, and is already showing the potential to be a possible agent against prostate cancer -- in cell culture and in an animal model.

Researchers at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City may have ended a decades-long quest to turn betulonic acid -- a stubbornly water-insoluble compound -- into a form that can be readily absorbed in a living body.

"Years of research appear to have paid off, and now animal tests on this potential anti-cancer agent can finally proceed. Already, in mouse studies, we've found that our water-soluble compound -- called Boc-lysinated-betulonic acid -- has achieved up to 92 percent inhibition of prostate tumor growth compared to controls," says lead researcher Dr. Brij Saxena, the Harold and Percy Uris Professor of Reproductive Biology and professor of endocrinology in obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

His team published their results in the latest issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry.

According to Dr. Saxena, scientists have been aware of the anti-cancer potential of the birch bark compound betulinol, and its derivative, betulonic acid, since the 1970s.

"In cell cultures, researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute demonstrated that our betulinol derivatives targeted and killed a wide range of cancer cells such as those from breast, lung and other malignancies," he says. "However, on its own, betulonic acid is what we call 'hydrophobic' -- it does not dissolve in water. This insolubility has meant that we've never been able to test the compound in a living model."

Turning an insoluble compound into something more soluble and bio-available can be a tough challenge, and Dr. Saxena says his team has been working on the problem since the mid-1990s.

"Finally, by attaching a long-side-chain amino acid called Boc-lysine to betulonic acid, we came up with a chemical structure that looked promising," he notes. "Next, we needed a good solvent, so we used a mixture of phosphate-buffered saline that included 20 percent ethanol (alcohol) and 4 percent human albumin."

The result was Boc-lysinated-betulonic acid, a fully water-soluble form of betulonic acid.

"Of course, we worried that once it became water-soluble, betulonic acid would lose its anti-cancer punch," Dr. Saxena says.

That wasn't the case.

While betulonic acid has proven effective in culture against a wide range of cancer, Dr. Saxena's team focused on prostate cancer because it is so widespread and because there are no drugs that can stop this malignancy once it metastasizes beyond the prostate.

In cell culture, Boc-lysinated-betulonic acid inhibited the growth of human prostate cancer cells by nearly 96 percent, the Weill Cornell team reports.

And, in the first-ever in vivo trial conducted with the compound, the new drug inhibited the growth of grafted human prostate cell tumors in mice by up to 92 percent -- with no apparent toxic effects.

"Right now we aren't clear just how Boc-lysinated-betulonic acid kills prostate cancer cells, but it seems to induce apoptosis -- programmed cell death," says a senior author of this study, Dr. Premila Rathnam, of Weill Cornell. "It may also compete with androgens -- male hormones -- for a place on the tumor cell. Tumor cells need androgens to thrive, so it's possible Boc-lysinated-betulonic acid may block that effect."

Whatever the mechanism, the creation of a bio-available form of betulonic acid marks a potential breakthrough, the researchers say.

"It's been a real hurdle, and we've been waiting for this opportunity for a while," Dr. Saxena says. "Now, we can proceed with the in vivo dose-response and toxicity studies that may lay the groundwork for clinical trials."

The research has also opened a potential avenue to synthesize more water-soluble derivatives of betulinol for other types of cancer.

This study was funded in part by Marc Pharmaceuticals.

Co-authors included Dr. Arkadiy Bomshteyn, Dr. Meirong Hao, Ms. Eileen Kisilis, Dr. Meena Katdare and Dr. Ozgur Oktem -- all of Weill Medical College of Cornell University; and Dr. Lei Zhu, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, New York City.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.