A recent study conducted by researchers at University of Michigan has showed that ginger can kill cancer cells, the results of which were presented at the American Association of Cancer Research. Additionally, it was also found to prevent the development of drug resistance, a phenomenon that makes cancers difficult to treat.
This study highlights that a commonly used spice, ginger could be used in the development of a new drug for cancer treatment. More research is needed however, to substantiate the above findings. Previous studies have already established that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease nausea.
The researchers applied the commercially available ginger powder, dissolved in a solution to ovarian cancer cells, extracted from cancer patients. All the tests done, revealed that ginger was effective in killing cancer cells. The ginger solution was found to induce a two-way death, one apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagy (cell death due to self-digestion).
'Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy, which is associated with apoptosis. If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy,' said Rebecca Liu, report author.
This promising research offers a new ray of hope to cancer patients. The distinct advantage of this treatment the relatively low risk of side effects and the ease of administering the spice in the form of a capsule. The researchers have at this juncture pointed out to the fact that the research is very preliminary and have warned about using this technique without extensive testing and approval.
'This study doesn't mean that people should dash down to the supermarket and stockpile ginger. We still don't know whether ginger, in any form, can prevent or treat cancers in animals or people,' warned Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK.