Ginger has been found to significantly inhibit mammary tumor development and growth in laboratory mice when fed in drinking water. Ginger contains a variety of compounds with anti-cancer effects, including various gingerols. -gingerol has been shown to inhibit cell adhesion, invasion, and motility in both hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) and triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-) breast cancer cells. In addition, -gingerol has been shown to selectively induce the death of ER+/PR+ breast cancer stem cells. Ginger appears to increase the effectiveness of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) chemotherapy and may reduce chemotherapy-associated nausea. However, ginger should be avoided during radiotherapy since it has been shown to help protect cells against the cytotoxic effects of radiation. Now a new study has reported that -gingerol is especially effective in inducing triple negative breast cancer cell death.
Latest research finds -gingerol reduces breast cancer growth
The study referenced above was designed to compare the effectiveness of -gingerol with -gingerol and -gingerol in inhibiting the growth of human breast cancer and mouse mammary tumor cells. Ginger contains several bioactive gingerols, however most cancer-related research has focused on -gingerol. The authors first determined that -gingerol was more powerful than -gingerol and at least as potent as -gingerol in inhibiting triple-negative human (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cell lines) and mouse mammary carcinoma (4T1, E0771) cell growth. -gingerol-gingerol was also found to suppress the growth of ER+/PR+ (MCF-7, T47D) and HER2+ (SKBR3) breast cancer cells.
Further experimentation demonstrated that -gingerol's growth inhibitory effect on triple negative cells was associated with reduced cell division and increased apoptosis (programmed cell death). Surprisingly, the cytotoxic effect of -gingerol did not appear to depend on accumulation of reactive oxygen species. The authors conclude that further investigation of -gingerol for possible use in breast cancer treatment is justified.
Please see our article on triple negative diet for more information.