Green Tea Acts Against Breast Cancer

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Researchers studying the purported anticancer properties of green tea have found that the tea polyphenol -epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) prevented the development of breast cancer and its metastasis in a mouse model.

Investigators at the University of Alabama Birmingham worked with highly metastatic mouse mammary carcinoma 4T1 cells. Treatment of 4T1 cells growing in tissue culture with EGCG resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and the induction of apoptosis in a fashion that was dependent on size of the dose and length of time of the exposure. When EGCG was administered in drinking water to mice infected with 4T1 cancer cells, reduction of tumor growth resulted. Metastasis of tumor cells to lungs was inhibited, and survival period of animals was increased. These findings were published in the March 1, 2005, issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Results of the current study add weight to the likelihood that green tea has beneficial anti-cancer effects. Senior author Dr. Santosh K. Katiyar, a researcher in the dermatology department at the University of Alabama said, "We discovered in test tube and in mouse studies that tea polyphenols have the ability to inhibit the growth of breast tumor cells and slow down their metastasis to other organs."

This is a preliminary study and does not necessarily imply that large amounts of green tea prevent the metastasis (spread) of cancer. D.B.

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