Monday, February 09, 2009

Green tea blocks cancer drug benefits

From the Globe and Mail:
Many consider it a miracle beverage that can help shed pounds, reduce the risk of heart disease and even ward off some types of cancer.

But new research suggests that green tea may also have a dark side - by blocking the effects of a cancer drug.

Components of green tea seem to bind to the cancer drug bortezomib, also known by brand name Velcade, and stop it from reaching its target in cancer cells, according to a study published online yesterday in the journal Blood.

Velcade is primarily used to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

Health Canada approved the drug in 2005 for use in patients who have already received at least one prior therapy or a stem-cell transplant, or are not suitable for transplant.

"We expected the opposite. We expected that [green tea] would help the drug," said Axel Sch├Ânthal, professor in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and senior author of the study. ...more

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