Submitted to: Journal of Medicinal Food
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain chemicals found to protect cells against cervical and breast cancer. Nutraceuticals are food, or parts of food (phytochemicals), that provide medical or health benefits, including prevention and treatment of disease. Clemson researchers tested these freeze-dried fruit extracts against two cultures of two aggressive cervical cancer cell lines (Cask and Siva) and two breast cancer cell line (MCF-7 and T47-D) with different requirements for estrogen. Extracts from strawberry (Carlsbad and Sweet Charlie) and blueberry (Treble and Premier varieties) significantly decreased the growth of cervical and breast cancer cells. Extracts of Sweet Charlie were most effective in decreasing the growth of cervical cancer cells. Blueberry extracts inhibited growth of cervical cells more than that of breast cancer cells. Phytochemicals available from foods may affect production and early growth of tumors in humans by altering how cells respond to genetic damage or a carcinogeni agent. The preliminary data suggest that phytochemicals from strawberry and blueberry inhibit steps in tumor initiation. Further studies are underway to identify specific phytochemicals that may be active in the inhibition of different kinds of cancer.
Technical Abstract: Freeze dried fruits of two strawberry cultivars, Sweet Charlie and Carlsbad and two blueberry cultivars, Tifblue and Premier were sequentially extracted with hexane, 50% hexane/ethylacetate, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and 70% acetone/water at ambient temperature. Each extract was tested separately for in vitro anticancer activity on cervical and breast cancer cell lines. Ethanol extracts from all four fruit strongly inhibited CaSki and SiHa cervical cancer cell lines and MCF-7 and T47-D breast cancer cell lines. An unfractionated aqueous extract of raspberry and the ethanol extract of 'Premier' blueberry significantly inhibited mutagenesis by both direct-acting and metabolically activated carcinogens.