February 13, 2012
COLUMBUS, OhioBlack raspberries may provide a natural and inexpensive way to ward off oral cancer, which is responsible for more than 7,000 deaths each year, according to research from Ohio State University. The findings suggest anthocyanins found in the berry may suppress genes association with functions that allow cancerous cells to grow.
In 2003, Dr. Susan Mallery, a professor in the College of Dentistry at OSU and Oral Pathology Consultant at the Ohio State University and James Cancer hospitals, began investigating a variety of agents ranging from anti-angiogenesis drugs to natural products, to identify new therapeutics that can suppress the conversion of precancerous to cancerous cells. She created an oral gel containing anthocyanins that, when applied to the mouth, suppressed genes associated with functions that allow cancerous cells to grow, thus diminishing the risk for recurring lesions.
In 2009, Mallery received funding for a project aimed at developing a way to treat precancerous lesions directly in the mouth and preventing recurring lesions. Her team developed a first of its kind patch that could stick to the inside of the mouth, and deliver a continuous therapeutic dose of fenretinide directly on the lesion. Fenretinide is a decades-old breast cancer treatment.
The researchers plan to move the patch into pre-clinical and clinical trials, and is already looking at a combination of fenretinide and anthocyanins, as well as testing a combination therapy using the patch and black raspberry-based gel mouthwash to prevent recurrence of lesions.
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