PROSTATE CAN­CER AWARE­NESS MONTH BALL MOSS

Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH - Shelly-Ann Hart­ley BSc, is a re­search sci­en­tist at the Biotech R&D In­sti­tute who holds a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Bio­chem­istry and Chem­istry in ad­di­tion to a MPhil in Bio Chem­istry. She is cur­rently a med­i­cal stu­dent pur­su­ing a de­gree in Medicine and Surgery.

THE IN­CI­DENCE and preva­lence of prostate can­cer is very high in Afro-Caribbean men and is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death in men age 55-70 years.

Ja­maican men, in par­tic­u­lar, have one of the high­est preva­lence of prostate can­cer. A study re­ported by Glover et al in 1998 in­di­cated the preva­lence of prostate can­cer in Ja­maica was 304 in 100,000 men, which is higher than that ob­served in black Amer­i­cans. One can ar­gue that the preva­lence and mor­tal­ity rate of the dis­ease in Ja­maica is par­tially due to the stigma as­so­ci­ated with the screen­ing test done to de­tect ab­nor­mal­ity of the prostate gland. How­ever, ef­forts are be­ing made to change this, as early de­tec­tion can lead to bet­ter man­age­ment and treat­ment of the dis­ease.

The prostate is a small wal­nut­shaped gland found in the male re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem that pro­duces the sem­i­nal fluid that nour­ishes and trans­ports sperm. It is lo­cated be­low the blad­der and in front of the rec­tum, the tube that car­ries the urine and sperm from the blad­der (ure­thra) which passes through the gland and the sem­i­nal vesi­cle (gland that se­cretes the many com­po­nents of se­men) lies be­hind the prostate. The prostate gland nor­mally in­creases in size with age.

Prostate can­cer, like any can­cer, is as a re­sult of un­con­trolled growth of cells in the prostate (in­crease pro­lif­er­a­tion) and a re­duced abil­ity to nat­u­rally con­trol the Ball Moss from which Al­pha Prostate 11 is de­rived.

re­duc­tion of th­ese cells (re­duced apop­to­sis). This ab­nor­mal growth can spread to other parts of the body (metas­ta­size) such as the bone and can be deadly. In fact, prostate can­cer is the fourth lead­ing cause of death in Ja­maica.

Sci­en­tists all over the world are try­ing to find so­lu­tions for the treat­ment of prostate can­cer and other can­cers, Ja­maica is no dif­fer­ent. One such group is the team at the Bio-Tech R&D In­sti­tute led by Dr Henry Lowe, which is lo­cated at the Univer­sity of the West Indies, Mona cam­pus. Bio-Tech R&D In­sti­tute, over the past 14 years, has done ex­ten­sive sci­en­tific re­search on Ja­maican medic­i­nal plants in an ef­fort to iden­tify

pos­si­ble drug mol­e­cules for the treat­ment and man­age­ment of prostate can­cer.

PO­TEN­TIALLY PROMIS­ING PROD­UCT

Th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties have led to the dis­cov­ery of the cy­to­toxic prop­er­ties of Til­land­sia re­cur­vata (ball moss, old man’s beard) against prostate can­cer cell lines (P-3C and P-45). Ini­tial sep­a­ra­tion and bioac­tiv­ity stud­ies have iden­ti­fied a po­ten­tially promis­ing prod­uct for the man­age­ment and treat­ment of prostate can­cer.

Find­ings com­ing from their re­search in­clude: Anti-pro­lif­er­a­tive ac­tiv­ity against prostate can­cer-PC3, breast can­cer, Ka­posi sar­coma, B-16 melanoma

Iand B-cell lym­phoma can­cer cell lines from trans­genic mouse strain. In­hi­bi­tion of an­gio­gen­e­sis (growth of new blood ves­sels) to de­crease the vi­a­bil­ity of prostate can­cer cells. Anti-leukaemic ac­tiv­ity of the cy­cloar­tances iso­lated from the ball moss. The in­hi­bi­tion by cy­cloar­tanes from the ball moss on Cdc42 (cell divi­sion con­trol pro­tein 42) bind­ing ki­nases and MRCKa/v. Anti-can­cer and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory ac­tiv­i­ties of iso­lated flavonoid com­pound from ball moss ex­tract. Re­search sug­gests that early in­ter­ven­tions such as diet and the use of nu­traceu­ti­cal

IIII­sup­ple­ment can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the prob­a­bil­ity of de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease; give a bet­ter out­come to per­sons di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion, and can also form part of an ef­fec­tive treat­ment pro­to­col.

Al­pha Prostate For­mula 1, a nu­traceu­ti­cal sup­ple­ment distributed by Eden Gar­dens Nu­traceu­ti­cal, is used in the man­age­ment of prostate health. Al­pha Prostate For­mula I was for­mu­lated with the ex­tracts and iso­lated from the ball moss which has been iden­ti­fied to pos­sess an­ti­cancer ac­tiv­ity against prostate can­cer. The prod­uct has shown sig­nif­i­cant bioac­tiv­ity against the can­cer cells and neg­li­gi­ble tox­i­c­ity against nor­mal cells. The prod­uct also pro­motes the main­te­nance of good prostate health.

Sub­se­quent work has demon­strated the po­ten­tial for the nu­traceu­ti­cal in­no­va­tions to be taken to the next level, which is the de­vel­op­ment of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. To date, they are de­vel­op­ing a num­ber of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs from the ball moss, as noted from the publi­ca­tions and patents.

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