Researchers from Japan and Indonesia reported in a study how an experimental drug agent, based on an analogue of a molecule found in turmeric, showed significant anti-cancer effects.
The active substance, pentagamavumon-1 (PGV-1), was observed to inhibit a series of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of reactive oxygen species. The results suggested PGV-1 was effective on numerous types of cancers with minimal side effects. Furthermore, it was noted that unlike other anti-cancer drugs, the anti-cancer effects persisted even after the cessation of PGV-1 administration.
The authors of the study also note a similar behaviour from natural turmeric.
“Our results suggest that PGV-1 inhibits the enzyme activity more effectively in cancer cells than in normal cells. This may be the reason why PGV-1 selectively suppresses tumor cell proliferation with few effects on normal cells” noted Professor Jun-ya Kato, co-author of the study.
The study was conducted at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology.
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 Lestari B, Nakamae I, Yoneda-kato N, et al. Pentagamavunon-1 (PGV-1) inhibits ROS metabolic enzymes and suppresses tumor cell growth by inducing M phase (prometaphase) arrest and cell senescence. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):14867.