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LE Magazine October 2001


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Green Tea/Cancer

Inhibition of prostate carcinogenesis in TRAMP mice by oral infusion of green tea polyphenols.

Development of effective chemopreventive agents against prostate cancer (CaP) for humans requires conclusive evidence of their efficacy in animal models that closely emulates human disease. The autochthonous transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) model, which spontaneously develops metastatic CaP, is one such model that mimics progressive forms of human disease. Employing male TRAMP mice, we show that oral infusion of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (GTP) at a human achievable dose (equivalent to six cups of green tea per day) significantly inhibits CaP development and increases survival in these mice. In two separate experiments, the cumulative incidence of palpable tumors at 32 weeks of age in 20 untreated mice was 100% (20 of 20). In these mice, 95% (19 of 20), 65% (13 of 20), 40% (8 of 20), and 25% (5 of 20) of the animals exhibited distant site metastases to lymph nodes, lungs, liver, and bone, respectively. However, 0.1% GTP (wt/vol) provided as the sole source of drinking fluid to TRAMP mice from 8 to 32 weeks of age resulted in (i) significant delay in primary tumor incidence and tumor burden as assessed sequentially by MRI, (ii) significant decrease in prostate (64%) and genitourinary (GU) (72%) weight, (iii) significant inhibition in serum insulin-like growth factor-I and restoration of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 levels, and (iv) marked reduction in the protein expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the prostate compared with water-fed TRAMP mice. The striking observation of this study was that GTP infusion resulted in almost complete inhibition of distant site metastases. Furthermore, GTP consumption caused significant apoptosis of CaP cells, which possibly resulted in reduced dissemination of cancer cells, thereby causing inhibition of prostate cancer development, progression, and metastasis of CaP to distant organ sites.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2001 Aug 14

Green tea extracts decrease carcinogen-induced mammary tumor burden in rats and rate of breast cancer cell proliferation in culture.

Epidemiological evidence suggests tea (Camellia sinensis L.) has chemopreventive effects against various tumors. Green tea contains many polyphenols, including epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), which possess anti-oxidant qualities. Reduction of chemically induced mammary gland carcinogenesis by green tea in a carcinogen-induced rat model has been suggested previously, but the results reported were not statistically significant. Here we have tested the effects of green tea on mammary tumorigenesis using the 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) Sprague-Dawley (S-D) rat model. We report that green tea significantly increased mean latency to first tumor, and reduced tumor burden and number of invasive tumors per tumor-bearing animal; although, it did not affect tumor number in the female rats. Furthermore, we show that proliferation and/or viability of cultured Hs578T and MDA-MB-231 estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines was reduced by EGCG treatment. Similar negative effects on proliferation were observed with the DMBA-transformed D3-1 cell line. Growth inhibition of Hs578T cells correlated with induction of p27(Kip1) cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) expression. Hs578T cells expressing elevated levels of p27(Kip1) protein due to stable ectopic expression displayed increased G1 arrest. Thus, green tea had significant chemopreventive effects on carcinogen-induced mammary tumorigenesis in female S-D rats. In culture, inhibition of human breast cancer cell proliferation by EGCG was mediated in part via induction of the p27(Kip1) CKI.

J Cell Biochem 2001;82(3):387-98

Inhibitory effects of orally administered green tea, black tea, and caffeine on skin carcinogenesis in mice previously treated with ultraviolet B light (high-risk mice): relationship to decreased tissue fat.

Treatment of SKH-1 hairless mice with ultraviolet B light (UVB; 30 mJ/cm(2)) twice a week for 22 weeks resulted in tumor-free animals with a high risk of developing malignant and nonmalignant skin tumors during the next several months in the absence of additional UVB treatment (high-risk mice). Oral administration of green tea or black tea (6 mg tea solids/ml) to UVB-pretreated high-risk SKH-1 mice for 23 weeks after stopping UVB treatment decreased the number of tumors/mouse, decreased the size of the parametrial fat pads, and decreased the thickness of the dermal fat layer away from tumors and directly under tumors. Administration of the decaffeinated teas had little or no effect on these parameters, and adding caffeine (equivalent to the amount in the regular teas) to the decaffeinated teas restored their inhibitory effects. Administration of caffeine alone also decreased the number of tumors/mouse, the size of the parametrial fat pads, and the thickness of the dermal fat layer away from tumors and under tumors. Using data from individual mice and linear regression and correlation analysis, we found a highly significant positive correlation between the thickness of the dermal fat layer away from tumors and the number of tumors/mouse (r = 0.34; P = 0.0001), but the correlation between average tumor size/mouse and the thickness of the dermal fat layer away from tumors was weak (r = 0.16; P = 0.034). The results suggested that p.o. administered tea or caffeine may have decreased tumor multiplicity in part by decreasing fat levels in the dermis. Additional analysis revealed that oral administration of caffeinated beverages (green tea, black tea, decaffeinated green tea plus caffeine, decaffeinated black tea plus caffeine, or caffeine alone) decreased the thickness of the dermal fat layer under large tumors to a much greater extent than under small tumors. This is the first demonstration of a close association between inhibition of carcinogenesis and the lowering of tissue fat levels by a chemopreventive agent.

Cancer Res 2001 Jul 1;61(13):5002-9

Intake of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene and stomach cancer risk: results from analyses in the Netherlands Cohort Study.

Both carcinogenic and anticarcinogenic properties have been reported for the synthetic antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The association between dietary intake of BHA and BHT and stomach cancer risk was investigated in the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) that started in 1986 among 120,852 men and women aged 55 to 69 years. A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess food consumption. Information on BHA or BHT content of cooking fats, oils, mayonnaise and other creamy salad dressings and dried soups was obtained by chemical analysis, a Dutch database of food additives (ALBA) and the Dutch Compendium of Foods and Diet Products. After 6.3 years of follow-up, complete data on BHA and BHT intake of 192 incident stomach cancer cases and 2035 subcohort members were available for case-cohort analysis. Mean intake of BHA or BHT among subcohort members was 105 and 351 microg/day, respectively. For consumption of mayonnaise and other creamy salad dressings with BHA or BHT no association with stomach cancer risk was observed. A statistically non-significant decrease in stomach cancer risk was observed with increasing BHA and BHT intake [rate ratio (RR) highest/lowest intake of BHA = 0.57 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25-1.30] and BHT = 0.74 (95% CI: 0.38-1.43). In this study, no significant association with stomach cancer risk was found for usual intake of low levels of BHA and BHT.

Food Chem Toxicol 2000 Jul;38(7):599-605

Stomach cancer-related mortality.

In Japan stomach cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related mortality. We analyzed the annual mortality rate of stomach cancer in relation to age, gender and life expectancy in Japan between 1970 and 1995. The adjusted stomach cancer-related mortality rates decreased from 88.9 in 1970 to 45.4 per 100,000 in 1995 in males and from 46.5 to 18.5 per 100,000 in females. The male-female ratio for stomach cancer-related mortality in all ages was 1.9 to 2.5 during this 25-year period, and the mortality rate was higher in females than in males at young age. The negative contribution to life expectancy for stomach cancer in males was 0.65 years and 0.42 years in females, which is consistent with a higher mortality rate in males. This negative contribution was 41.8% of total cancer in 1970 and 39.4% in 1995 in males and 34.4% and 16.0%, respectively, in females. Our results demonstrated the need to take into consideration the characteristics of stomach cancer in young women and the effects of aging when designing programs aimed at prevention and control of this malignancy.

Eur J Cancer Prev 2001 Feb;10(1):61-7

Green tea and the risk of gastric cancer in Japan.

BACKGROUND: Although laboratory experiments and case-control studies have suggested that the consumption of green tea provides protection against gastric cancer, few prospective studies have been performed. METHODS: In January 1984, a total of 26,311 residents in three municipalities of Miyagi Prefecture, in northern Japan (11,902 men and 14,409 women 40 years of age or older), completed a self-administered questionnaire that included questions about the frequency of consumption of green tea. During 199,748 person-years of follow-up, through December 1992, we identified 419 cases of gastric cancer (in 296 men and 123 women). We used Cox regression to estimate the relative risk of gastric cancer according to the consumption of green tea. RESULTS: Green-tea consumption was not associated with the risk of gastric cancer. After adjustment for sex, age, presence or absence of a history of peptic ulcer smoking status, alcohol consumption, other dietary elements, and type of health insurance, the relative risks associated with drinking one or two, three or four, and five or more cups of green tea per day, as compared with less than one cup per day, were 1.1 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.6), 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 1.4), and 1.2 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.9 to 1.6), respectively (P for trend=0.13). The results were similar after the 117 cases of gastric cancer that were diagnosed in the first three years of follow-up had been excluded, with respective relative risks of 1.2 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.8) 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 1.5), and 1.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.9) (P for trend=0.07). CONCLUSIONS: In a population-based, prospective cohort study in Japan, we found no association between green-tea consumption and the risk of gastric cancer.

N Engl J Med 2001 Mar 1;344(9):632-6

Vitamin nutrition and gastroesophageal cancer.

Nitrosamines have been suspected in the etiology of esophageal/ gastric cardia cancer in the high incidence area of Linxian of the Henan Province in northern China, but marginal deficiencies in riboflavin, vitamins A and C, and other micronutrients may also be involved. A joint U.S.-China nutritional intervention study with investigators from the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the U.S. National Cancer Institute tested the effects of the following four combinations of nutrients on 29,584 subjects in an eight-group design: 1) retinol and zinc; 2) riboflavin and niacin; 3) vitamin C and molybdenum; and 4) vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium. Supplementation with Group 4 nutrients significantly decreased mortality rate from stomach cancer, primarily due to the decrease in deaths resulting from adenocarcinomas of the gastric cardia; it lowered the total mortality rate and showed signs of other beneficial effects. Another study of nutrition and gastric cancer in a high incidence area of Linqu of the Shangdong province in northern China (in collaboration with the Beijing Institute for Cancer Research and the U. S. National Institutes of Health) found significantly lower serum concentrations of vitamin C and beta-carotene among individuals with intestinal metaplasia; an intervention trial with vitamins C and E and selenium (combined) is ongoing in Linqu. Other studies are also elucidating the mechanisms for the pathogenesis of adenocarcinoma at the gastroesophageal junction with the use of a rat model. Such studies are expected to shed light on the etiology and prevention of gastroesophageal cancers in humans.

J Nutr 2000 Feb;130(2S Suppl):338S-339S

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