Melanoma Skin Cancer

By Wendy Wells, NMD.

Phytochemical components found in several herbal remedies such as, red chili pepper, grape skin, Ashwaghanda, ginger, olive leaf and pine bark, can eliminate the growth of human melanoma skin cancers.

Chili Pepper and Grape Skin Extract Affects Melanoma Skin Cancer

Biotechnologist, MY. Kim, from Korea's Jeju National University HospitalExit Site discovers how nitric oxide works to eliminate human melanoma cells, treated with extracts of capsaicin from red peppers, and resveratrol from grape skins.

Resveratrol and capsaicin are strong chemo-preventive agents with dietary safety records, and anti-carcinogenic effects. Previous to the work of Dr. Kim and others, the means by which these natural preventions could promote the death of tumor cells remained unexplained.

In the February 2012 issue of the Molecular Medical Report, Dr. Kim shows how increased levels of nitric oxide affect the treatment of A375 human melanoma cells.

Both capsaicin and resveratrol, alone or in combination, inhibited cancer cell growth and promoted cancer cell death by the elevation of nitric oxide.

Increased nitric oxide production following treatment stimulated p53 and triggered mitochondrial apoptotsis effects, thereby eliminating cancer cells. Apoptotsis is the process of cell death.

The study's data suggest that capsaicin and resveratrol activate the mitochondrial and death receptor pathways, working together to induce apoptosis in melanoma cancer cells. As a result researchers consider how nitric oxide could be used to improve the effectiveness of melanoma skin cancer treatments. Source: PMID 22143933 Molecular Medical Report, 2012 February;5(2):585-91

Green tea reactivates tumor suppressor genes in human skin cancer cells

Researchers from the University of Alabama's, Department of Dermatology, have discovered the precise molecular mechanisms that can alter genetic code in human skin cancer cells. Their work shows how the dietary phytochemical, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), found in green tea leaves can reduced the risk of skin cancer.

To uncover green teas's precise molecular mechanisms, researchers studied DNA methylation, histone modifications, and tumor suppressor gene expressions using human carcinoma cells (A431).

The study revealed how EGCG treatment decreased overall DNA methylation levels in skin cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. EGCG treatments affected the re-expression of mRNA and proteins of silenced tumor suppressor genes, p16INK4a and Cip1/p21.

The study provides new insight into the genetic mechanisms of EGCG, contributing to the prevention of skin cancer, as well as, providing direct implications for genetic therapy using natural phytochemical remedies. Their results where published in the April 2011 journal of Carcinogenesis. 2011 Apr;32(4):537-44 PMID:21209038

Ashwaghanda Herb Inhibits Skin Cancer

Ashwaghanda is a ancient traditional Ayervedic herb that's been used medicinally for over 4000 years. In the June, 2011 edition of Phyto-therapy Research, Tokyo University researchers describe the major signaling pathways halting the genesis, and progression of melanoma skin cancer. Our cell's ability to regulate, and balance, oxygen levels have been associated with hyper-pigmentation in skin cancers. To test this hypothesis, researchers exposed human skin cancer cells to an Aswanganda herbal extract. Ashwaghanda who's latin name is "Withania somnifera," contains high amounts of withanolide A, recognized as a polyphenol with powerful anti-oxidant properties. Their results showed a significant de-pigmenting, with a decrease of eumelanin content in cultured human skin cancer cells. Ashwaghanda demonstrated it's ability to regulate Protein kinase C (PKC) activity, that decreases EDN1-stimulated pigmentation. PMID:21678520

Ashwaghanda (Withaferin-A) Kills Skin Cancer Cells Using Reactive Oxygen

In the June, 2011 edition of the journal Apoptosis, researchers from the University of Paris, comment how conventional chemo-therapies are highly ineffectual in the treatment of cutaneous melanoma, the most deadly and aggressive type of skin cancer. Withaferin A, a withanolide derived from the the medicinal plant ashwaghanda, has been reported for it's anti-tumor effects. As a result, researchers focused their investigation to the cellular mechanisms of withaferin A, on four different types of human skin cancer cells. They demonstrated how withaferin A, causes tumor cell death through mitocondrial pathways, membrane permebility and DNA fragmentation. Large amounts of reactive oxygen, along with the depletion of glutathione, induced cytotoxicity in the cancer cells. This effects where tempered by the increased levels antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, resulting in a complete suppression of mitochondrial and nuclear functions. The french researchers conclude how their results bolster the therapeutic use of Ashwaghanda's withaferin A as a natural treatment for skin cancer. PMID:21710254

Ginger Inhibits Melanoma Cancer, Acts As Skin Whitening Agent

In the June 2011 journal edition of Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, China Medical University researchers published how cellular mechanics of 6-Gingerol effects skin cancer cells. An active component of ginger root, 6-gingerol, has previously demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties, and scientist are now investigating it's skin-whitening abilities. To test this hypothesis, researchers exposed the mushroom enzyme, tyrosinase as well as, 6-Gingrol to cultured melamona cells, then measured the affected levels of melanin content. Researchers found specific inhibitorsregulating the depigmentation of melanin cells through tyrosinase activity via a dose dependent relationship. Also, they obsevred a similar effective decrease in the presence of cell damaging reactive oxygen. They results conclude that 6-ginerol prevents the production of melanin, functioning as a good skin-whitening agent. PMID:21670536

Olive Leaf Extract Prevents Skin Damage

Olive Olea europaea L. leaves have been used traditionally in folk medicine and herbal teas in Europe and the Mediterranean, areas known to have a climate of high temperatures, and intense ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Constant exposure to sunlight can damage skin by increasing thickness, reducing elasticity, promoting pigmentation, and inducing skin cancers. Evidence suggests that olive leaf extract (oleuropein) applied to ultraviolet-B induced skin exposure can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer. To test this traditional olive leaf remedy, researchers at Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, in Japan, exposed 6 groups of mice to various levels of ultraviolet-B radiation and olive leaf extract strengths. The olive leaf extract and oleuropein groups demonstrated a significant limit to increased skin thickness, while showing increased skin elasticity, plus a decrease in skin cancer and tumor growths. The study's histological evidence suggest that skin cancer and tumor growth may be inhibited by VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-13 via a reduction in COX-2 levels. Their research was published in the September 2009 edition of the Journal of Nutrition, PMID:19776181, and the July 2010 edition of Phyto-therapy Research. PMID:19957248

French Maritime Pine Bark Limits Sun Damge To Skin

The extract of French maritime pine bark Pinus maritima Lam., named Flavangenol, prevents UV-B radiation skin damage and carcinogenesis.

In the 2010 August edition of Photo-chemisty and Photobiology researchers tested French maritime pine bark and found that oral administration of flavangenol significantly prevented increases in skin thickness, and limited the formation of wrinkles and melanin spots. Other effects discovered in their mouse model was an increase in the thickness, and length, of blood vessels in the skin. Scientists provide evidence for the anti-photo-aging and anti-carcinogenetic effect of flavangenol that limits the expression of Ki-67, 8-OHdG and VEGF by neutralizing reactive oxygen species, also known as, the antioxidant effect. PMID:20497364




Wendy Wells

Author Wendy Wells is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Arizona.
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Skin Care Topics include age spot removal, acne remedies, skin cancer, and dry skin remedies.