For pancreatic cancer, chokeberry extract may enhance effectiveness of gemcitabine

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, chokeberry, a wild berry, may improve the effectiveness of gemcitabine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In the study, researchers tested gemcitabine alone, different levels of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) extract alone, and a combination of both on AsPC-1 pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Researchers found that 1 ug/mL of chokeberry extract induced some cancer cell death after 48 hours.


Furthermore, when low doses of chokeberry extract were administered with low doses of gemcitabine, the extract greatly strengthened the effectiveness of gemcitabine. Chokeberry extract had no effect on other normal lining cells, even at doses as high as 50 ug/mL.


Chokeberry is a wild berry that grows along the eastern portion of North America, particularly in wetlands and swamps. Previous research has shown that chokeberries have high concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants, such as numerous polyphenols. Other studies have demonstrated that chokeberry has induced apoptosis in brain cancer.


The researchers suggest that adding "nutraceuticals" like chokeberry to traditional chemotherapy may enhance the effectiveness, especially in difficult to treat cancers like pancreatic cancer.

Existing drug offers new hope in a subtype of pancreatic cancer
Chokeberry may improve the effectiveness of gemcitabine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, reveals experimental research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology. The findings prompt the researchers to suggest that adding 'nutraceuticals' to chemotherapy cycles may improve the effectiveness of conventional drugs, particularly in hard to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.

They base their findings on the effectiveness of extract of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) in killing off cancer cells - a process known as apoptosis. Chokeberry is a wild berry that grows on the eastern side of North America in wetlands and swamp areas. The berry is high in vitamins and antioxidants, including various polyphenols - compounds that are believed to mop up the harmful by-products of normal cell activity.

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