An Ancient Herbal Medicine with Modern Medical Applications

Effects of Guggul on Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Lab studies suggest guggul compounds could help stop metastasis of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is highly aggressive, with a 3-year survival rate of less than 20% after surgical removal of the primary tumor. It tends to reoccur and metastasize to the lymph nodes or liver, which is associated with a much worse prognosis. Recently analysis of pancreatic cancer tissue with and without lymph node metastasis revealed that the tissues where the cancer had spread showed higher levels of proteins called farnesoid X receptors (FXRs), inflammatory proteins, and growth factors.44

Although animal studies have suggested that FXR deficiency may stimulate cancer growth and tumor progression in adenocarcinoma in the colon, liver, and small intestine, other research indicates that too much of this protein may stimulate tumor development and metastasis. Studies have shown that FXR has been detected in breast cancer cell lines and tissue and colorectal tumor cells.44

Guggulsterone is known to block the expression of FXR and in recent lab studies it demonstrated the ability to inhibit the proliferation and migration of pancreatic cancer cell lines. In addition, pancreatic cancer cells treated with guggulsterones showed lower levels of the inflammatory protein nuclear factor-ºB (NF-ºB) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).44

NF-ºB regulates the production of VEGF, which is known to promote the invasive spread of tumors by growing new blood vessels to keep up the nutritional needs of the demanding cancer cells. Although the molecular relationships are not completely understood, this study showed that treating pancreatic cancer cells with guggulsterones reduced FXR levels, which in turn appeared to inhibit both NF-ºB and VEGF. According to cancer researchers, these results suggest that guggul could help prevent the metastasis of pancreatic cancer and improve the survival rates of these patients.44


Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.