New therapies for preventing cancer may be on their way as scientists have identified components in pomegranate juice that inhibit the movement of cancer cells.
Researchers at the University of California have found that these components also weaken cancer cells' attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone.
The research could lead to new therapies for preventing cancer metastasis.
Manuela Martins-Green applied pomegranate juice on laboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells that were resistant to testosterone.
The researchers found that the pomegranate juice-treated tumour cells that had not died with the treatment showed increased cell adhesion and decreased cell migration.
Next, the researchers identified the active groups of ingredients in pomegranate juice that had a molecular impact on cell adhesion and migration in metastatic prostate cancer cells like phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids.
"Having identified them, we can now modify cancer-inhibiting components in pomegranate juice to improve their functions and make them more effective in preventing prostate cancer metastasis, leading to more effective drug therapies.
"Because the genes and proteins involved in the movement of prostate cancer cells are essentially the same as those involved in the movement of other types of cancer cells, the same modified components of the juice could have a much broader impact in cancer treatment," said Martins-Green.
Martins-Green added, "We show that pomegranate juice markedly inhibits the function of this protein, and thus this juice has the potential of preventing metastasis of the prostate cancer cells to the bone."
The findings were presented at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, Philadelphia.