Vitamin E extract could help tackle cancer tumours

Dec 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- An extract of vitamin E could have a key role to play in the treatment of cancerous tumours, according to newly-published research today.

The research team from Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, investigated the extract Tocotrienol, which has been found in the past to have anti-cancer properties, but failed to reach tumours after intravenous administration without secondary effects to healthy tissues.

The researchers developed a formulation of tocotrienol which could be specifically delivered to tumours after intravenous administration through the use of transferrin, a which transports iron through the blood and whose receptors are present in large amounts in many cancers.

This formulation led to tumours shrinking within one day of treatment and nearly disappearing within 10 days, the maximum duration authorized for the experiments. Although the tumours grew after the treatment ended, the rate of growth was lower than had been seen in trials with other formulations.

The researchers hope that there may be scope to improve further the therapeutic efficacy of the system they have developed by using higher doses and extending the length of the treatment.

Dr Christine Dufčs, a Lecturer at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, led the research. She was joined by Glasgow's Dr Laurence Tetley, of the faculty of biomedical and life sciences. Ju Yen Fu and David Blatchford, both of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences were also involved in the work.

Dr Dufčs: "This new formulation proved to be very efficient and has had extremely encouraging results.

"In the anti-cancer studies done to date, no therapeutic effect has been found after intravenous administration of tocotrienol. We demonstrated that the intravenous administration of tocotrienol entrapped in a tumour-targeted delivery system leads to a fast tumour regression without visible secondary effects on healthy tissues.

"This therapeutic system is very promising. We have tested it in laboratory settings on skin and are currently investigating other therapeutic systems which give promising results as well”.

More information: The research has been published in the Journal of Controlled Release. The full research paper can be seen viewed by clicking here.

Provided by University of Glasgow

Explore further: DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

Related Stories

Humans spread out of Africa later

Sep 04, 2009

Modern humans spread out of Africa 20,000 years later than previously thought, according to new genetic research just published.

Innovative method to starve tumors

Feb 11, 2009

The development of cancerous tumours is highly dependent on the nutrients the tumours receive through the blood. The team of Dr. Janusz Rak, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) at the Montreal ...

Recommended for you

DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

17 hours ago

Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimise treatment when tumour tissue is not available, an international group of researchers ...

Tumors prefer the easy way out

19 hours ago

Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever ...

Brain tumors may be new targets of Ebola-like virus

19 hours ago

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult for most drugs to reach, but Yale researchers have found a promising but unlikely new ally against brain cancers—portions of a deadly virus similar to Ebola.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2009
Tocotrienol is not an extract of vitamin E. They are 4 of 8 naturally occurring forms of what is classified as "vitamin E". Which of the 4 tocotrienols did the researchers use or did they use a mix?

The link to the paper doesn't work.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.