Breast cancer affects 12% of the women in the U.S., making it the most common type of cancer after skin cancer. Among the types of breast cancer known so far, 15 to 20 percent of them are represented by the triple-negative, which is a progressive form of cancer. This makes victims especially among African-American (with the highest rate) and young Hispanic women. It is also a form of cancer that rarely responds to formal medical treatment that most patients take. Therefore, women suffering from it usually have to opt for alternative medicine.
A lot of research has been done in the field to discover ways to deal with this type of cancer and help the patients affected by it. The triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), derives its name from the fact that that does not have the three growth factor receptors – the genes for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) or Her2/neu. Therefore, the cells are not easily affected during chemotherapy, since this treatment usually targets only one of the three receptors. Hence, a combinatorial therapy is preferred. The death rate for patients diagnosed with this type of cancer is also very high, with a risk of relapse in the first 3 to 5 years. Until now, very little research is available, which makes it even harder to treat, given the fact that patients respond very differently to the therapy available so far.
In an attempt to find alternative ways to deal with this form of cancer, a very recent study was carried out at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. It was funded by The U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The research showed that extracts from plants, particularly from rosehips, amplify the efficiency of cancer treatment. In addition to this, it was proved that they reduce the migration and evolution of cancer cells in the triple negative type.
A team of experts led by Patrick Martin, Ph.D., associate professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University concluded that a concentration of 0.25 to 1.0 mg/ml of rosehip extract could cause cell multiplication to recede by 50 percent when the highest concentration of plant was used. The extract was applied directly to the triple-negative cancer cells from the tissue cultures. However, the results were not the same when a smaller concentration of extract was added. A normal concentration of rosehip extract reduced the migration of breast cancer cells by 25 to 45 percent. The quantities of MAPK and Akt, two enzymes that are responsible for the cell growth were also reduced. Thus, the study indicates that rosehip extract not only reduces, but can also prevent the cancer from spreading into the healthy tissue.
Furthermore, the chemotherapy treatment was more effective after applying the rosehip extract and it helped prevent the migration of cells further into the tissue. Thus, it was proved that this natural product could be a powerful tool in preventing and curing this type of breast cancer.
Nowadays, pure concentrated extract from rosehips can be found either in pill form or in liquid form.
This study is linked to other researchers’ findings that proved the high concentration of natural vitamin C from rosehips could prevent brain cancer from proliferating. That study was also a success and will probably lead to similar research in attempting to cure prostate cancer.
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