The blueberry has long been a star of the nutritional world: small and unassuming, it is nevertheless packed with antioxidants and other healthy goodness. It tastes good, too.
Now, City of Hope researchers have revealed another of the blueberry’s superpowers: the ability to help control tumor growth, block the spread of cancer, and induce cell death in a particularly hard-to-treat form of breast cancer.
Most therapies target one of three key proteins in breast cancer cells. But about 15 percent of breast cancer patients have “triple-negative cancer” — so called because they lack all three of those proteins. Sadly, those patients tend not to respond as well to treatment.
The blueberry may be about to change that, says Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., director of City of Hope’s division of tumor cell biology.
Research by Dr. Chen and his team has proven that blueberry extract slows the development and movement of triple-negative breast cancer cells. Even better, the extract led to cancer cell death at twice the normal rate.
Dr. Chen cautions that more research remains to be done before we can fully understand the blueberry’s cancer-fighting power. But women with breast cancer — and potentially other cancer patients, too — can take hope: Evidence suggests you have a powerful new ally in your corner.
City of Hope in the media
Dr. Chen and his City of Hope colleague Lynn Adams, Ph.D., were interviewed about their exciting research into the blueberry’s superpowers. Watch their interview on our YouTube page: www.youtube.com/cityofhopeonline.