Guess Which Summer Veggie Might Be the New “Anti-Cancer” Food

A new study by researchers at the Ohio State University demonstrated that daily tomato consumption cut the rate of skin cancer tumors in mice by half. The study appears in Scientific Reports.

It found that male mice fed a diet of 10 percent tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light, experienced, on average, a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors compared to mice that ate no dehydrated tomato.

The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that dietary carotenoids, the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their color, may protect skin against UV light damage.

Previous human clinical trials suggest that eating tomato paste over time can dampen sunburns, perhaps thanks to carotenoids from the plants that are deposited in the skin of humans after eating, and may be able to protect against UV light damage.

OSU Finds Timing of Dosage Affects Side Effects

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the Ohio State University’s Wexler Medical Center found that the time of day during which breast cancer chemotherapy drugs are given affect the amount of damaging inflammation that occurs within the body.

It is believed that inflammation that can happen in the brain due to these drugs is what causes a lot of the neurological side effects such as depression, anxiety and short-term memory loss. And researchers are hoping that through understanding why the timing of doses affects the level of inflammation they can reduce it and its damaging effects.

The results also showed an important complicating factor: The inflammatory effects were opposite in the brain versus the spleen depending on the time the drugs were given. While researchers don’t fully understand the either of these discoveries or their implications, this line of research could lead to discoveries that make side-effect heavy cancer treatments like chemo safer for patients.

OSU Researchers Develop “Trojan Horse” Cancer Treatment

Researchers at The Ohio State University are working on a new way to treat drug-resistant cancer that the ancient Greeks would approve of—only it’s not a Trojan horse, but DNA that hides the invading force.

The study involved a pre-clinical model of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that has developed resistance against the drug daunorubicin. Specifically, when molecules of daunorubicin enter an AML cell, the cell recognizes them and pumps them back out through openings in the cell wall. It’s a mechanism of resistance that study co-author John Byrd of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center compared to sump pumps that draw water from a basement.

He and Carlos Castro, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, lead a collaboration focused on hiding daunorubicin inside a kind of molecular Trojan horse that can bypass the pumps so they can’t eject the drug from the cell.

In this case, the invading force is a common cancer drug.

In laboratory tests, leukemia cells that had become resistant to the drug absorbed it and died when the drug was hidden in a capsule made of folded up DNA.

Previously, other research groups have used the same packaging technique, known as “DNA origami,” to foil drug resistance in solid tumors. This is the first time researchers have shown that the same technique works on drug-resistant leukemia cells.

The researchers have since begun testing the capsule in mice, and hope to move on to human cancer trials within a few years. Their early results appear in the journal Small.