UPDATE. Errata corrige, Saturday November 12: after publishing this post, I re-read the abstract (many thanks to Nicola, grazie!, for pointing out the obvious, which I’d missed at first glance…) and realized I’d made a mistake. Oooops! The compound found mostly in rhubarb is called pterostilbene, from which the researchers synthesized bipterostilbene. Two different molecules. So my post title should have read “eat your pterostilbenes!!!” without the prefix “bi.” I have a few more things to say on this topic…but no time today…perhaps tomorrow. But I did want to apologize quickly for that petit booboo. I’m just in too much of a hurry these days…Need to slow down…But I have also been assigned more English classes now, which is good since we need the money…but of course that means less time for research…oh well. Can’t have everything! 😉 Anyway, here follows the original post I wrote a couple of days ago…
Yesterday a blog reader (thanks, TL!) sent me the link to an abstract that was presented at the December 2011 American Society of Hematology, or ASH, meeting: http://goo.gl/EHFGs (click on “I agree blablabla”). This abstract is the purrrrfect segue to yesterday’s post about cancer cell resistance to conventional drugs. Yes, just purrrrfect!
It’s about a compound called bipterostilbene (hey, try to pronounce that, and then repeat it ten times in a row, fast! I dare ya! 😉 ) mostly found in RHUBARB…Remember yesterday’s mystery pie ingredient? Yep, that would be rhubarb. In fact, whenever I read the word rhubarb, the first thing that pops into my mind is “pie,” even though for the life of me I cannot remember EVER having a piece of rhubarb pie…in fact, I can’t remember ever eating rhubarb in any shape or form. But that will have to change from now on, I guess!
Let’s get back to the abstract, which states that bipterostilbene SIGNIFICANTLY inhibited myeloma cell proliferation. More importantly, it EXTERMINATED all the myeloma cells. Note: it also had a similar effect on a lymphoma cell line, but no effect on breast and ovarian cells.
Aha, quelle surprise (NOT!!!), it also didn’t harm any healthy blood cells, even at doses that were lethal to the myeloma cells. A familiar tale, huh? Yeah.
The following is mainly for those who have scientific tendencies: bipterostilbene inhibited the AKT1 and mTOR gene expression…Now, as I recently wrote in my quercetin post (see October 16 2011 post or my Quercetin Page), mTOR is verrrrry bad news for myeloma folks. It helps MM cells become resistant, among other things…so we’re back to the problem of resistance to treatment. Inhibiting mTOR, as we’ve seen recently, is BIG in multiple myeloma research right now. So is inhibiting AKT…just check PubMed. Curcumin, goes without saying!, inhibits both of these nasty thingies…and much more, of course…But there is that little, er, issue of curcumin’s not being patentable… 😉
I love the abstract ending: We propose that bipterostilbene may be better tolerated than other anti- cancer drugs that are currently being used for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
In the meantime, bring on those rhubarb pies! (By the way, does anyone have any good rhubarb recipes? Please share ’em! Thanks!)