Breakthrough Study: Modified Citrus Pectin Boosts Chemo’s Power against Ovarian Cancer

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Breakthrough Study: Modified Citrus Pectin Boosts Chemo’s Power against Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest cancers because it’s often detected at a late stage, with higher risk of resistance to frontline chemotherapy drugs such as paclitaxel (commonly sold as Taxol). However, a preclinical study from the University of Tehran and the Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention showed that Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) increased the effectiveness of paclitaxel against ovarian cancer cells. Results showed MCP worked through its ability to block excess galectin-3 proteins.

This study furthers our understanding of how excess galectin-3 fuels the growth and spread of chemo-resistant cancer.  The study showed for the first time that galectin-3 increases ovarian cancer cell proliferation and adhesion to collagen, and further substantiated previous findings that galectin-3 prevents apoptosis in cancer cells. (Apoptosis is the normal programmed cell death in a cell’s life cycle.) Moreover, the study showed that inhibition of galectin-3 by MCP sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to the chemotherapy drug. The anti-apoptosis effect of galectin-3 was reversed in the presence of MCP.

Modified Citrus Pectin and Ovarian Cancer

This study demonstrated that MCP may be a useful therapeutic agent in combination therapy for ovarian cancer. The authors note, “As paclitaxel has serious side effects, any agent that may lead to more effective cytotoxic effect or use of lower dose of this agent may be an interesting candidate for combination therapy. Our study demonstrated that MCP can sensitize ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel through inducing apoptosis, suggesting that the combined use of MCP and paclitaxel may be an effective way to decrease the dose of paclitaxel taken.”

As research into galectin-3 continues, MCP gains further recognition as an effective natural galectin-3 inhibitor, shown in preclinical and clinical studies to block the growth and spread of prostate, breast, and other types of cancer. MCP has also been shown to work synergistically with other anti-cancer drugs, increasing the effectiveness of doxorubicin, cisplatin, dexamethasone, as well as botanical therapies for both breast and prostate cancer.

Read the full-text study here: Synergistic Effects of PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin an Inhibitor of Galectin-3 and Paclitaxel on Apoptosis of Human SKOV-3 Ovarian Cancer Cells. Hossein G, Keshavarz M, Ahmadi S, Naderi N. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(12):7561-8.

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