Green tea ingredient plus trastuzumab fight cancer

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According to findings published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers have found that the molecule (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), which is a major ingredient in green tea, can be utilized as a carrier for anticancer antibodies. EGCG functions as a carrier by binding to the antibody, thereby forming a stable therapeutic nanocomplex.


The researchers used EGCG, which also has anticancer effects, as a carrier for trastuzumab (Herceptin), a common treatment for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. The researchers then injected the EGCG-trastuzumab nanocomplex into mice and observed increased tumor selectivity and decreased tumor growth. In addition, they found that the trastuzumab lasted longer in the blood when part of the nanocomplex compared with when injected alone.


The study only used EGCG for the study, not green tea. Green tea is believed to have numerous antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Future studies could be conducted to determine if drinking green tea while receiving cancer treatment would improve outcomes.

Green tea ingredient plus trastuzumab fight cancer
The molecule EGCG in green tea can be utilized as a carrier for anticancer antibodies.

A molecule that is a major ingredient in green tea can be used as a carrier for anticancer proteins, forming a stable and effective therapeutic nanocomplex. These findings, reported in a paper published online this week in Nature Nanotechnology, could help to build better drug-delivery systems. Some cancer treatments depend on medication comprising the therapeutic drug and a carrier that delivers the drug to the tumour site.

When designing drug carriers, several factors must be considered, for example, it must be specific so that it only attacks the tumour. Also, the drug-to-carrier ratio is important because using high quantities of the carrier could result in toxicity if the body cannot metabolize it. Furthermore, the complex will be ineffective if the body attacks and eliminates it too quickly.

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