Here’s some health news on the cancer prevention front: a natural compound found in vitamin A could offer significant protection from the type of abnormal cell growth that leads to tumors. Researchers have been studying retinoic acid, as it’s called, for some time now. So far, results from clinical trials look promising.
The latest test of retinoic acid versus cancer was just conducted by a team of researchers at Karunya University in India. Cancer is basically a disease of uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells and can be a major cause of death. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has been shown to be a potent modulator of cell growth and differentiation—the process in which a simple cell changes into a more specialized cell. Normally, cell growth and differentiation are positive things. However, sometimes abnormal cell growth is triggered and cancer can be the result.
The researchers decided to evaluate the activity of ATRA in mice that had cancerous tumors. The results showed that administration of ATRA caused tumor growth suppression and improved the survival rate of the mice. The researchers concluded that ATRA has a potent immunomodulatory potential—meaning it could boost the response of the immune system. ATRA could also significantly impact upon tumor growth already established, helping to prolong survival.
According to the research team, ATRA is being increasingly used as an anti-tumor therapy in the treatment of various cancers, including bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, and neuroblastoma (a type of cancer that forms in the nervous system). One final point to make about retinoic acid: it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
For another great strategy involving cancer prevention, read the article, The Cancer-fighting Proof for This Vitamin