Our laboratory is developing a food-based approach to the prevention of esophageal and colon cancer utilizing freeze-dried berries and berry extracts. Dietary freeze-dried berries were shown to inhibit chemically induced cancer of the rodent esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%. The berries are effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development. Berries inhibit tumor initiation events by influencing carcinogen metabolism, resulting in reduced levels of carcinogen-induced DNA damage. They inhibit promotion/progression events by reducing the growth rate of pre-malignant cells, promoting apoptosis, reducing parameters of tissue inflammation and inhibiting angiogenesis. On a molecular level, berries modulate the expression of genes involved with proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and angiogenesis. We have recently initiated clinical trials; results from a toxicity study indicated that freeze-dried black raspberries are well tolerated in humans when administered orally for 7 days at a dose of 45 g per day. Several Phase IIa clinical trials are underway in patients at high risk for esophagus and colon cancer; i.e., Barrett's esophagus, esophageal dysplasia and colonic polyps, to determine if berries will modulate various histological and molecular biomarkers of development of these diseases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Corporation (OARDC), the United States Department of Agriculture CREES Special Research Grants Program and National Cancer Institute Grants RO1 CA 103180 and RO1 CA96130 for support of this research.
- Black raspberries