HK experts reveals lupeol in fruits helps combat cancer: study

Xinhua News Agency


HONG KONG, Oct 16, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A study found that a substance called "lupeol" contained in fruits may help beat head and neck cancer, announced the University of Hong Kong which made the result public here Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the university's Faculty of Medicine, revealed that lupeol, a compound rich in fruits, selectively targeted and killed cancer cells. Using a mouse animal model, lupeol dramatically decreased tumor volume and suppressed local metastasis while bearing minimal effect on surrounding tissue and other vital organs like liver and kidney.

Interestingly, lupeol was found to be more effective and more potent than conventionally used chemotherapeutic drug, cisplatin, by approximately three-fold in terms of tumor volume and degree of metastasis suppression.

Besides, when lupeol was used in combination with cisplatin, the anti-tumour activity of the chemotherapeutic drug could be enhanced by 40-fold.

The above research result was published in the international scientific journal Cancer Research in September, 2007.

Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the nose, oral cavity, salivary gland, etc. In the year 2004, 2,087 new cases were diagnosed in Hong Kong, with the number of new cases increasing steadily every year.

Human papilloma virus infection, alcohol and tobacco consumption and low fruits and vegetables intake all contribute to the increased risk of head and neck cancer development.

The university was in the hope that the findings will also show people that only a slight change in their everyday meal or a small change in their choice of food intake may have an astounding impact on cancer prevention and therapy.