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[April 5, 2000]

  [Tues, Oct. 28]      

Press Releases

  Study: Dietary Ginger may work against cancer growth

Minneapolis/St. Paul-The substance that gives ginger its flavor appears to inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, according to research at the University of Minnesota's Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn. Working with mice that lack an immune systems, research associate professor Ann Bode and her colleagues found slower rates of cancer growth in mice given thrice-weekly feedings of [6]-gingerol-the main active component of ginger. Bode and co-author Zigang Dong, director of the institute, will discuss the work at a press conference from 9:30 to 10:30a.m. MST Tuesday, Oct. 28, during a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in the J.W. Marriott Desert Resort and Spa in Phoenix. They will also present the work at a poster session from 1 to 2:30p.m. and from 6 to 7:30p.m. MST in the Marriott.

"Plants of the Ginger family have been credited with therapeutic and preventive powers and have been reported to have anti-cancer activity" said Bode. "The substance called [6]-gingerol is the main active compound in ginger root and the one that gives ginger root and the one that gives ginger it's distinctive flavor."

The researchers tested [6]-gingerol's powers by feeding a half a milligram to 20 mice three times a week before and after injecting human colorectal tumor cells into their flanks. Control mice were treated the same the same, except their food contained no [6]-gingerol. Tumors were allowed to grow until they reached a size of one cubic centimeter, after which the mice were euthanized.

The first tumors appeared 15 days after the cells were injected. At that time, 13 tumors of measurable size had appeared among the control mice, 4 among the [6]-gingerol-treated mice. Mice consuming [6]-gingerol in both the number of animals with measurable tumors and the average size of tumors within the group. For example, all the mice in the control group had measurable tumors by the 28th day following injection of the cells. But it wasn't until the 38th day that the [6]-gingerol group reached that milestone-but one mouse still had no measurable tumors. As the 49th day following injection, all control mice had been euthanized due to tumor sizes of one cubic centimeter. In contrast, 12 of the 20 [6]-gingerol mice were still alive on that day, and their average tumor size was about 0.5 cubic centimeter, or half the maximum allowable size.

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