Clinical trial tests rice bran to prevent cancer

December 6, 2012

A recent University of Colorado Cancer Center review in the journal Advances in Nutrition shows that rice bran offers promising cancer prevention properties. Meanwhile, an ongoing clinical trial is testing the effectiveness of rice bran in preventing the recurrence of colon cancer.

"While I have been trained as a molecular toxicologist, I am excited about the opportunities to deliver bioactive, cancer fighting compounds with food, and this has led to my focus now primarily on the multiple drug-like characteristics of rice bran," says Elizabeth P. Ryan, PhD, CU Cancer Center investigator, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at the CSU Animal Cancer Center, and the review's senior author. "There's a delicate balance of in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity including the ability to inhibit , alter cell cycle progression and initiate the known as apoptosis in ," Ryan says.

Ryan and colleagues show that bioactive rice bran derived small molecules include, but are not limited to polyphenolics, ferulic acid, tricin, β-sitosterol, γ-oryzanol, tocotrienols/tocopherols, and phytic acid.

"We're working now to tease apart the ratios of these active molecules required for bioactivity and mechanisms. Previous attempts to isolate one or another compound have been largely unsuccessful and so it looks now as if rather than any one compound giving rice bran its chemopreventive powers, it's the synergistic activity of multiple components in the whole food that should be studied."

Work with cancer cell lines and animal models shows that the bioactive components of rice bran act not only within cancer cells but around the cells to create conditions in the surrounding tissues that promote the function of healthy cells while inhibiting the function of . This tissue microenvironment activity includes mediating that provides a ripe landscape for cancer. Ryan and colleagues including Tiffany Weir, PhD, and Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, are collaborating to evaluate how rice bran may also help to promote an anti-cancer immune response and modulate gut microbiota metabolism for protection against cancer.

"There are well over 100,000 varieties of rice in the world, many with their own unique mix of bioactive components and so one major challenge is to discover the optimal composition for chemoprevention. Another challenge is ensuring that people consistently receive the required daily intake amount or 'dose' needed to demonstrate these chemo-protective effects. That said, rice is an accessible, low-cost food in most places of the world, and so work with rice bran as a dietary chemopreventive agent has the potential to impact a significant portion of the world's population," Ryan says.

Ryan has taken the next step in the evolution of from diet to prescription, in the form of an ongoing clinical trial testing its chemopreventive effectiveness in a population of colon cancer survivors.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

Combining CAR T cells with existing immunotherapies may overcome resistance in glioblastomas

July 19, 2017
Genetically modified "hunter" T cells successfully migrated to and penetrated a deadly type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma (GBM) in a clinical trial of the new therapy, but the cells triggered an immunosuppressive tumor ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.