Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ginkgo May Slow The Growth of Aggressive Cancers?

In the January-February issue of the journal Anticancer Research, the investigators reported that treating mice with an extract of leaves of Ginkgo biloba both before and after implanting human breast or brain (glioma) tumors decreased expression of a cell receptor associated with invasive cancer. This decreased expression slowed the growth of the breast tumors by 80 percent as long as the extract was used, compared to untreated mice, and also reduced the size of the brain tumors, but temporarily, and to a lesser extent. For the press release click here.
For the abstract click here

I found just under 1800 citations for ginkgo in PubMed. and 56 studies under the search terms ginkgo and cancer which turned up a few other surprises about investigations into the efficacy of this herb with oral cancers, upper GI cancers, liver cancers, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and ameliorating the cardiotoxicity of Doxirubicin and radiation therapy. There is even research about Ginkgo ameliorationg the brain damaging effects of cell phone use.

There are drug interactions to watch out for: Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo) caused bleeding when combined with warfarin or aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), raised blood pressure when combined with a thiazide diuretic and even caused coma when combined with trazodone in patients. To find out more about this herb see a 2003 review of ginkgo in the American Family Physician.