Science Update

Attacking cancer with the help of green tea

EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) is one of the most extensively studied green tea polyphenols. A study this past week in Nature Nanotechnology demonstrated EGCg being used as a carrier for anticancer proteins.

Certain cancer treatments depend on medication consisting of a therapeutic drug and a carrier that delivers the drug to the tumor site. Several factors are considered when creating drug carriers such as the fact that it has to specifically attack only the tumor itself. In addition the amount of the carrier used is important as there can be toxicity with high carrier levels if the body cannot metabolize it. Also the complex will not be effective if the body attacks or eliminates it too rapidly.

Researchers used EGCg to design a carrier for the anticancer protein Herceptin. The advantage of EGCg over other carriers is its anticancer effects. An EGCg-Herceptin nanocomplex was injected into mice and demonstrated better tumor selectivity and growth reduction as well as longer duration in the blood than if Herceptin was injected alone (which could also increase its efficacy).

EGCg is the most abundant catechin in green tea that promotes normal antioxidant function protects DNA and promote apoptosis. It has been shown to help reduce the incidence and severity in lung stomach colon pancreas liver breast prostate and skin cancer.

Source: Joo Eun Chung Susi Tan Shu Jun GaoNunnarpas Yongvongsoontorn Soon Hee Kim Jeong Heon Lee Hak Soo Choi Hirohisa Yano Lang Zhuo Motoichi Kurisawa & Jackie Y. Ying. "Self-assembled micellar nanocomplexes comprising green tea catechin derivatives and protein drugs for cancer therapy” Nanotechnology N. (2014 October 6).