Onions might possess anti-ovarian cancer effects

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner




According to the findings of researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan, published in the Scientific Reports, onion has been found to contain a particular compound known as Onionin A that has significant effect on preventing ovarian cancer.

Onions are vegetable with high vitamins and minerals content but very low in calories. They are also antioxidants.

According to the researchers, the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014 review showed that epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most common form of ovarian cancer. With a 5-year survival rate of about 40 percent, effective treatments are highly required for this fatal illness.

Around 80 percent of patients with EOC suffered a relapse after early chemotherapy treatment. As such, the researchers examined the effects that a natural compound in onions known as onionin A or ONA has on EOC.

Following a critical analysis of the effects of ONA on a preclinical model of EOC in cells, the team discovered that the growth of EOCs reduced after the team used ONA. It was also found that ONA disturbed pro-tumor activities of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) which the team associates with the suppression of the anti-tumor immune response of host lymphocytes. Furthermore, the team noticed that ONA improved anti-cancer drugs’ effects by enhancing their anti-spread ability.

The team also conducted a pioneer experiment on an ovarian cancer mouse model by using oral doses of ONA. The results indicated that the mice had prolonged life spans and had reduced ovarian cancer tumor development.
The team says their study shows that ONA limits progression of ovarian cancer tumors by inhibiting myeloid cells’ pro-tumor activity.

See also  High presence of paracetamol in the system may impair male fertility

They added that “we found that ONA reduced the extent of ovarian cancer cell proliferation induced by co-culture with human macrophages. In addition, we found that ONA directly suppressed cancer cell proliferation. Thus, ONA is considered useful for the additional treatment of patients with ovarian cancer owing to its suppression of the pro-tumor activation of [tumor-associated macrophages] and direct cytotoxicity against cancer cells.”

The team did not notice side effects in animals but were of the view that with further testing, an oral ONA supplement could help cancer patients.

The researchers are the first to report an anti-ovarian cancer effect of ONA. However, earlier study of the same research team found that ONA suppressed the pro-tumor activation of host myeloid cells.






Junko Tsuboki et.al (2016): Onionin A inhibits ovarian cancer progression by suppressing cancer cell proliferation and the protumour function of macrophages, Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep29588

Leave a Reply