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Cancer Functional Foods Women's Health

Anti-Cancer Effects Found in Onions

5 years, 2 months ago

8304  0
Posted on Oct 31, 2016, 6 a.m.

A natural compound found in onions, onionin A (ONA), is found to have several anti-ovarian cancer properties

A natural compound found in onions, named onionin A (ONA), has a number of anti-cancer properties and may be used for treating ovarian cancer, according to research from Japan’s Kumamoto University. ONA increases anti-tumor immunity by the inhibition of the immune suppressions of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and macrophage.

Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immune cells originating from bone marrow stem cells, and they expand in situations such as cancer and chronic infections. MDSCs interact with other immune cell types to regulate their functions. Experimental and clinical studies have shown that cancer tissues with a high infiltration of MDSCs are unfortunately associated with a poor patient prognosis and a resistance to therapies.

Macrophages are large specialized immune system cells that form through differentiation of monocytes, one of the main groups of white blood cells, in response to an infection, accumulating dead or damaged cells, or tissue damage. Macrophages leave the blood stream, enter the affected organ or tissue, and then recognize, engulf, and destroy target cells. Therefore, they provide a first line of defense to protect the host. 

The World Health Organization, according to a 2014 review of cancer medicines, states that EOC is the most common ovarian cancer and has a five-year survival rate of about 40 percent. As much as 80 percent of patients experience a relapse after an initial chemotherapy treatment, and thus a more effective line of treatment is definitely needed.

The researchers discovered that ONA has several effects on EOCs, which usually proliferate in the presence of pro-tumor M2 macrophages, including showing inhibited growth after the introduction of ONA, which also inhibited the pro-tumor functions of the MDSCs,

Additionally, ONA enhanced the effects of anti-cancer drugs by the strengthening of the capabilities of anti-proliferation. Also investigated were the effects of orally administered ONA, which resulted in longer life spans and inhibiting the development and progression of ovarian cancer tumors.

ONA has additional benefits and potentially will be an enhancement for current anti-cancer drugs while having little or no toxicity effects on normal cells. In addition, no side effects have been observed in animals. Hopefully, a little more testing will result in an oral ONA supplement that could greatly benefit ovarian cancer patients.

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