Scientists at Plant & Food Research, working together with researchers at The University of Auckland and the National Cancer Institute of The Netherlands, discovered specific plant compounds able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body, and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.
The teams’ research, recently published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, showed that falcarinol type compounds such as those found in carrots and parsley may support the delivery of drug compounds that fight breast cancer by addressing the over-expression of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2), a protein that leads to some malignant tissues ability to become resistant to chemotherapy.
“It’s very exciting work,” said Plant & Food Research Senior Scientist Dr. Arjan Scheepens. “Our work is uncovering new means to alter how the body absorbs specific chemical and natural compounds. Ultimately, we are interested in how food could be used to complement conventional treatments to potentially deliver better results for patients.”