Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women. The most common reason for cancer-related deaths is that the cancer has already spread to distant sites. One of the main objectives of lung cancer treatment is to slow down its spread to other body parts. According to a new study, the compound responsible for heat of chilli peppers could help to slow down the spread of lung cancer. This gives you the reason to start liking the hotness of chillies.
This new research has been presented at the American Society for Investigative Pathology annual meeting during 2019 Experimental Biology meeting. Jamie Friedman, a doctoral candidate who performed the research in the laboratory of Piyali Dasgupta, PhD, at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine said, “Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasize to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat.” “Our study suggests that the natural compound capsaicin from chili peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients,” he added.
Their experiments involve three lines of cultured human non-small cell lung cancer cells. The researchers have observed that capsaicin inhibited invasion. They found that mice with metastatic cancer that consumed capsaicin showed smaller areas of cancer cells as compared to those who have not received it. Also, the experiments showed that capsaicin works to suppress lung cancer metastasis by inhibiting the activation of protein Src.
They were inspired to study capsaicin because previous observational studies have shown that countries like India and Thailand where diets consist of spicy foods have lower incidence of lung cancer. The team hopes that capsaicin could be developed into treatment for lung cancer in addition with other therapies.
The scientists are also working to identify natural non-pungent capsaicin-like compounds with anti-cancer activity.