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Extract From Licorice May Prevent Colorectal Cancer: Study

by VR Sreeraman on  March 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM Alternative Medicine News   - G J E 4
 Extract From Licorice May Prevent Colorectal Cancer: Study
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and drugs that selectively target a protein known as COX-2 prevent the development of intestinal polyps, the precursors of colorectal cancer. However, these drugs have severe side effects that preclude their routine use in the prevention of colorectal cancer.
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But now, a team of researchers, at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, has found that inhibiting an enzyme known as 11-beta-HSD2 (both genetically and using an extract from licorice) blocks COX-2 activity in human and mouse colorectal tumor cells, inhibiting their growth and metastasis in experimental models of colorectal cancer.

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Importantly, long-term inhibition of 11-beta-HSD2 did not have side effects on the heart and blood vessels of mice, as long-term treatment with selective COX-2 inhibitors does. The authors therefore suggest that inhibiting 11-beta-HSD2 might provide a new approach to preventing colorectal cancer.

In an accompanying commentary, Paul Stewart and Stephen Prescott, highlight the importance of these data for the development of a potential new therapeutic option in colorectal cancer.

Source: Eurekalert
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