Herbal supplement may fight pancreatic cancer

Older people in assisted living facilities at risk for pancreatic cancer may benefit from some supplementation according to new research.

Scientists at Kimmel Cancer Center are reporting that Nigella Sativa, a component of treatments in Middle Eastern and Asian countries, may limit pancreatic cancer growth in addition to its previous role in reducing inflammation.

The researchers found that the supplement reduced inflammation in pancreatic cells by limiting some proteins, including one that they say has been resistant to chemotherapy.

Herbal supplement may fight pancreatic cancer Two-thirds of tumors treated with the supplement were shrunken, they added.

"Not only patients with chronic pancreatitis could benefit from this, but also several other groups with risk of development or recurrence of pancreatic cancer, such as high-risk family members and post-surgical patients," said lead author Dr Hwyda Arafat, adding that the herb has been well tolerated when used in Asian populations over the centures.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of pancreatic cancer increases as one ages, and most diagnoses are made after the age of 60. There were more than 30,000 cases reported in 2008, NCI reported.

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