Tobacco carcinogen inhibitor found

| April 21, 2016

Watercress extract taken multiple times a day significantly inhibits the activation of a tobacco-derived carcinogen in cigarette smokers, according to a report posted on EurekAlert citing new research.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), which partners with the UPMC Cancer Center, demonstrated in a phase II clinical trial that the extract detoxified environmental carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke, and that the effect was stronger in people who lacked certain genes involved in processing carcinogens.

The trial was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its results were presented on Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans

“Cigarette smokers are at far greater risk than the general public for developing lung cancer, and helping smokers quit should be our top cancer prevention priority in these people,” said Jian-Min Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the UPCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Science and an epidemiologist with Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health.

“But nicotine is very addictive, and quitting can take time and multiple relapses. Having a tolerable, nontoxic treatment, like watercress extract, that can protect smokers against cancer would be an incredibly valuable tool in our cancer-fighting arsenal.”

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Category: Breaking News

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