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Cottonseed Nutrient Halts Growth of Brain Cancer Tumors

Friday, June 05, 2009 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: cottonseed, brain tumors, health news

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(NaturalNews) Glioblastoma multiforme is one of the most dreaded, and most hopeless, diagnoses a doctor can give a patient. It's not only the most malignant form of brain tumor, but it grows rapidly and is usually quickly fatal. Subjecting patients to chemo, radiation and brain surgery typically only prolongs life for a matter of months. This form of brain cancer is so deadly and considered so hopeless that M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researcher Eric Holland, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, referred to it by the insensitive but accurate nickname "the terminator".

Now, however, there could finally be a glimmer of hope for those diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. It's not stronger radiation or a new surgery technique but a treatment derived from nature -- cottonseed.

An experimental therapy derived from cottonseed is showing remarkable promise in treating multiforme, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). John Fiveash, M.D., an associate professor in the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology and the lead researcher on the new study, presented his research team's findings on May 30 during the poster discussion of central nervous system tumors at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The UAB study was a phase II clinical trial of AT-101, a pill made from a potent compound found in cottonseed that appears to overcome the out-of-control growth patterns of malignant cells. So far in the clinical tests, AT-101 stopped the usually lethal brain cancer's progression in many of the 56 patients treated, Dr. Fiveash said at the meeting.

Before the trial began, patients in the study had already undergone standard treatments including brain surgery and chemotherapy. But their aggressive brain tumors had started growing again. The cancer research subjects were then given a treatment consisting only of AT-101 daily for three out of four weeks.

"After getting this drug some of these patients went many months without any new growth in their tumors," Dr. Fiveash said in a statement to the media. "We are able to do that with a well-tolerated oral medication, and that is a major benefit."

Dr. Fiveash said the nature-derived drug might be able to boost the cancer-fighting properties of current treatments, too. In addition, he pointed out that research is needed to learn which patients are most likely to benefit from AT-101.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), glioblastoma multiforme tumors account for more than half of the more than 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year in the US and they are the second-most common cause of cancer deaths in the 15 to 44 age group. Considering the ability of glioblastoma multiforme tumors to grow and spread remarkably quickly, the UAB findings that a cottonseed derivative could stop the malignancy growth are nothing short of remarkable.

Research into cottonseed over the past decade has shown it to have numerous health-promoting qualities. For example, previous animal research at the University of Michigan concluded that a therapy made from cottonseed oil could boost the effectiveness of treatment for prostate cancer and possibly other common cancers, as well. Another study from Texas Medical Center researchers found that consuming cottonseed oil may help fight heart disease because it is rich in vitamin E and lowers cholesterol naturally.

Editor's note: NaturalNews is opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments that expose them to harm. We present the University of Michigan findings in protest of the way in which they were acquired.

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