Peaches Help Fight Breast Cancer Metastasis

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By Roshni Mahesh | March 26, 2014 10:25 PM EST

Eating at least two to three peaches a day can prevent spreading of breast cancer to other parts of the body, according to a new study.

Jackson's Orchard/Flickr
Scientists conducted experiments on mice and found that treatments with peach extract inhibited breast cancer metastasis in rodents.

Scientists conducted experiments on mice and found that treatments with peach extract inhibited breast cancer metastasis in rodents.

The study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found a combination of phenolic compounds found in the peaches playing a major role in this occurrence. The peach polyphenols achieve this by targeting and modulating gene expression of metalloproteinases, researchers said.

Metastasis is a term used to describe spread of a deadly cancer from its original site to other parts of the body, mainly bones, lungs and liver.

Metastasis occurs in nearly 6 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancer cases and in most of the cases, it gets detected only after completing the cancer treatment. The condition requires lifelong treatment with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, radiation and surgery, according to experts.

In the new study, scientists fed peach extract to a group of mice predisposed to an aggressive type of breast cancer metastasis.

"Cancer cells were implanted under the skin of mice with an aggressive type of breast cancer cells, the MDA-MB-435, and what we saw was an inhibition of a marker gene in the lungs after a few weeks indicating an inhibition of metastasis, when the mice were consuming the peach extract,"  Dr Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, a food scientist for AgriLife Research in College Station, Texas, said in a news release.

"Furthermore, after determining the dose necessary to see the effects in mice, it was calculated that for humans it would be equivalent to consuming two to three peaches per day."

Cisneros-Zavallos and colleagues on their previous work had identified the effectiveness of certain polyphenols found in plums and peaches. The compounds successfully destroyed aggressive types of breast cancer cells, without causing any harm to the healthy ones.  

Researchers expect that their findings will help in avoiding the complications and high mortality caused by breast cancer metastasis. "The importance of our findings are very relevant, because it shows in vivo the effect that natural compounds, in this case the phenolic compounds in peach, have against breast cancer and metastasis. It gives opportunity to include in the diet an additional tool to prevent and fight this terrible disease that affects so many people,"Cisneros-Zavallos, said.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women across the whole world. Breast cancer is expected to claim nearly 2.1 million lives every year by 2030, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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(Photo: Jackson's Orchard/Flickr / )
Scientists conducted experiments on mice and found that treatments with peach extract inhibited breast cancer metastasis in rodents.
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