18/12/2008 - Spanish scientists confirm extra virgin olive oil helps to combat breast cancer
UGR News Researchers of the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (Spain) and the University of Granada
(Spain) have discovered that extra virgin olive oil may help to combat
breast cancer, according to a paper published in the last issue of the
renowned scientific journal ‘BMC Cancer’. The scientists have confirmed
the bioactivity of polyphenols (this is, natural antioxidants) present
in olive oil in breast cancer cell lines.
The study has proved
the anti-HER2 effect of fractions of phenolic compounds directly
extracted of extra virgin olive oil in breast cancer cell lines. They
have used solid-phase extraction methods of semi-preparative liquid
chromatography to isolate fractions of commercial oils and, later,
separation techniques (capillary electrophoresis and liquid
chromatography connected to mass spectrometry) to check the purity and
composition of the fractions.
Such fractions were tested in
their anti-cancer capacity both against positive HER2 and negative HER2
breast cancers, using in Vitro models and evaluating the effect of
polyphenolic fractions in the expression and activation of HER2
oncoprotein through ELISA specific methods for HER2. Fractions
containing polyphonels such as hydroxitirosol, tirosol, elenolic acid,
lignans, pinoresinol and acetopinoresinol, and secoiridoids, diacetox
oleuropein aglycone, ligustrosid aglycone and oleuropein aglycone were
able to induce important tumoricid effects in a range of micromolar and
in a selective way against HER2 oncogene.
this study confirms the potentiality of polyphenols to inhibit HER2
activity and to promote its degradation. Such results, together with
the fact that humans have consumed secoiridoids and lignans safely for
a long time through oil and olive oil consumption, endorse the fact
that such phytochemicals could be an excellent and safe basis for the
design of new antiHER2 compounds.
This work has been carried out by
Javier A. Menéndez, coordinator of the Translational Research Unit of the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (ICO) in Girona, and by doctors
Alberto Fernández Gutiérrez –in charge of the “Research Group of Analytic, Environmental, Biochemical and Food Control”- and
Antonio Segura Carretero, member of such group.
Research Group of the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the
University of Granada (Spain) has developed other interesting research
works in the characterization of polyphenolic profiles of an important
number of plants and metabolomic studies of extracts with proved
bioactivity through the use of advanced separation techniques.
Professors Alberto Fernández Gutiérrez and Antonio Segura Carretero.
Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Granada.
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Phone number: 958 243296
Dr Javier Menéndez
Coordinator of the Translational Research Unit of the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (ICO) in Girona
E-mail: [email protected]