Machine Learning Identifies Potential Anti-Cancer Molecules in Food

The internet is rife with myths and articles making dubious claims about certain foods and their anti-cancer properties. We have all seen the articles of questionable scientific merit gracing social media suggesting that such-and-such foods can cure cancer, the majority of which are highly questionable. A new study offers a unique kind of insight into the potential true effectiveness of food in fighting cancer.

Investigating molecules in food with machine learning

There is no doubt that there are many foods that contain a myriad of active molecules, and perhaps some of these food myths may have a grain of truth to them. A team of researchers decided to do some real myth-busting and put a variety of bioactive molecules found in foods to the test to see if they might potentially help to combat cancer.

The research team chose to use the power of machine learning to help assess a total of 7,962 biologically active compounds encountered in dietary sources. These molecules were compiled into a database and fed into a machine learning algorithm, which determined that of these compounds, there were 110 molecules that appeared to have anti-cancer properties.

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Source: Life Extension Advocacy Foundation


Fast, Low-Cost Technique ‘Makes Effective Anti-Cancer Molecules’

Body.Disease.Cancer2Researchers have developed what they say is a fast and inexpensive method to create artificial molecules that mimic the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This is according to a new study published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Lead author Prof. Peter Scott, of the University of Warwick in the UK, and colleagues say the newly created artificial molecules imitate the cancer- and infection-fighting properties of peptides that a healthy body produces naturally.

They have already proven successful against colon cancer cells in laboratory tests, according to the team.

Past research has looked at the use of artificial peptides for cancer treatment, but the team notes there have been some challenges. Artificial peptides have been difficult and expensive to produce in large numbers, for example. Furthermore, when delivered to the body in drug form, they have been quickly neutralized by the body’s biochemical defenses before they have a chance to work.

But in this latest study, Prof. Scott and colleagues detail a new technique that they say can create effective artificial peptides in minutes without the use of expensive equipment.

“The beauty is that these big molecules assemble themselves,” says Prof. Scott. “Nature uses this kind of self-assembly to make complex asymmetric molecules like proteins all the time, but doing it artificially is a major challenge.”

Although the triplexes have proven effective against colon cancer cells, the team says more research is warranted before they can be applied to patients in clinical trials.

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Source: Medical News Today

Anti-Cancer Mechanism of Green Tea Revealed

Food.Tea.GreenLactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) is an enzyme that is elevated in several human cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Wai-Nang Lee, MD, from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed; California, USA), and colleagues observe that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the active biologic constituent in green tea, changes the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells by suppressing LDHA expression.

The researchers also found an enzyme inhibitor, oxamate, which is known to reduce LDHA activity, operated in the same manner: It also disrupted the pancreatic cancer cells metabolic system. The study authors submit that: “These results suggest that phytochemical [epigallocatechin gallate] and LDHA inhibitor oxamate confer their anti-cancer activities by disrupting the balance of flux throughout the cellular metabolic network.”

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Source: MedicineNet.


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