University Of Sydney Scientist Shows That The Phytochemical Compound Erianin Extracted From Orchids Can Treat Prostate Cancer
A new study by researchers from the University of Sydney-Australia has shown that the phytochemical Erianin extracted from a commonly cultivated orchid could be a potential new treatment option for prostate cancer.
The phytochemical erianin, is a natural plant-derived bibenzyl compound, present in Dendrobium chrysotoxum, an orchid species native to Southeast Asia.
It has been found that in the early stages, the development of prostate cancer is dependent on androgens. Over time with androgen deprivation therapy, 20% of prostate cancers progress to a castration-resistant form.
The study team reports herein that erianin exhibits anti-tumor effects in androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells through different mechanisms.
The study found that erianin induces endoplasmic reticulum stress-associated apoptosis in androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells. It also triggers pro-survival autophagic responses, as inhibition of autophagy predisposes to apoptosis.
However in contrast, erianin fails to induce apoptosis in castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Instead, it results in cell cycle arrest at the M phase. Mechanistically, C16 ceramide dictates differential responses of androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells to erianin. Erianin elevates C16 ceramide level in androgen-sensitive but not castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Overexpression of ceramide synthase 5 that specifically produces C16 ceramide enables erianin to induce apoptosis in castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.
The study findings provide both experimental evidence and mechanistic data showing that erianin is a potential treatment option for prostate cancers.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Frontiers in Oncology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fonc.2021.738078/full
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis and the third leading cause of cancer death in American men.
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 191,930 men were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020. It is also estimated that there will be 33,330 prostate cancer related deaths this year alone.
It was also reported that 1 in 9 American men will receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer in their lifetime? Although prostate cancer is very common, it is slow growing, meaning most men diagnosed with prostate cancer will not die from it.
According to the latest Cancer News
, prostate cancer is also the sixth highest cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide.
The study team found that erianin had anti-tumor effects on both androgen-dependent (early-stage) and castration-resistant (advanced-st
age) prostate cancer cells.
Dr Yanfei (Jacob) Qi, Head of the Lipid Cell Biology Laboratory at the Centenary Institute at the University of Sydney and lead researcher on the study told Thailand Medical News, “Early in their development, prostate cancers need androgens (male sex hormones), including testosterone, to grow. Androgen deprivation therapy, also known as hormone therapy, aims to decrease androgen levels and can help slow or limit the cancer’s growth. When the prostate cancer stops responding to this treatment and continues to grow, the prostate cancer is at an advanced stage known as castration-resistant.”
The study findings showed that erianin elevated levels of a fatty acid called C16 ceramide inside the androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells. This caused the cells to die through a process called endoplasmic reticulum stress-associated cell death.
However in contrast, erianin alone failed to elevate C16 ceramide levels in the castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. However, artificially increasing C16 ceramide in these cells, in conjunction with the use of erianin did result in successful cell death.
Dr Qi added, “Novel treatments for prostate cancer are urgently needed. Up to twenty percent of patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy progress to advanced prostate cancer within five years. We’ve shown that erianin could play an important role in the development of new medical drugs that are able to target both early and late-stage prostate cancers, potentially benefiting many patients and helping save lives.”
Another study has shown that erianin is able inhibits lung cancer cell growth and migration via calcium/calmodulin-dependent ferroptosis. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-020-0149-3
It has also shown to be able to inhibit cervical cancer cells. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2018.9267
In fact its application in the field of cancer treatments is gradually recognition. There are numerous studies showing its anticancer properties.
Thailand Medical News sister company, Northern Thai Herbs is one of the largest global supplier of purified extracted erianin.
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