Cancer Prevention by using Black Seed
Very recently, researchers at Kimmel Cancer at Jefferson in Philadelphia discovered that thymoquinone blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death. Using a human pancreatic cancer cell line, researchers found that adding thymoquinone killed approximately 80 percent of the cancer cells. They showed that thymoquinone triggered programmed cell death in the cells, and that a number of important genes, including p53, Bax, bcl-2 and p21, were affected. Expression of p53, a tumour suppressor gene, and Bax, a gene that promotes programmed cell death, was increased, while bcl-2, which blocks such cell death, was decreased. The p21 gene, which is involved in the regulation of different phases of the cell cycle, was substantially increased. Researchers also found that thymoquinone caused epigenetic changes in pancreatic cancer cells, modifying the cells DNA.
In a recent animal study, thymoquinone treatment not only inhibited tumor cell invasion and proliferation in C26 colorectal cancer cells but, also reduced the growth of colon cancer cells in two different in vivo models. Tumor growth inhibition by thymoquinone is believed to be attributed to its potent antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects, in addition to the induction of apoptosis. Oxygen radicals, especially nitric oxide, cause p53 gene mutations, chromosomal change and activation of signal transduction pathways involved in cell growth. Thymoquinone has been shown to inhibit superoxide anions and nitric oxide production involved in tumorigenesis.
Many investigators have shown that the growth inhibitory effects of thymoquinone are specific to cancer cells. In fact, thymoquinone has shown significant anti-neoplastic activity against human pancreatic adenocarcinoma, uterine sarcoma and leukemic cell lines, while it is only minimally toxic to normal cells.
What's more, thymoquinone treatment has been found to alleviate the toxicity of several anticancer drugs by reducing their toxicity to the heart, kidney, liver and central nervous system.
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