Magnolia extract may fight head and neck cancers

Magnolia extract may fight head and neck cancers

New research from Veterans Affairs Research Communications and the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that magnolia extract may fight head and neck cancers.

Head and neck cancers are very common amongst those who use tobacco and alcohol. According to the National Cancer Institute, 3 out of 4 head and neck cancer cases are caused by tobacco and alcohol use. There is a 50 percent survival rate for these cancers, and they kill about 20,000 Americans every year.

Honokiol, one of the active compounds in magnolia extract, has been use for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat anxiety, amongst other conditions.

Recently, scientists have been discovering that this magnolia extract may be useful in treating cancer. It has shown the ability to shrink tumors, and potentially prevent them from forming.

The team at Alabama has now discovered that the extract works against head and neck cancers: “It blocks a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR,” according to the study authors.

The Veterans Affairs authors write: “Honokiol binds more strongly with EGFR than does the drug gefitinib (sold as Iressa), which is commonly used to treat head and neck cancers.”

The researchers tested honokiol on cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, tongue, and pharynx. The extract shut down the cancerous cells in all cases.

Senior author Dr. Santosh K. Katiyar and his team wrote, “Conclusively, honokiol appears to be an attractive bioactive small molecule phytochemical for the management of head and neck cancer which can be used either alone or in combination with other available therapeutic drugs.”

The study showing that magnolia extract may fight head and neck cancers was published in the journal Oncotarget.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Compound in Magnolia May Combat Head and Neck Cancers.” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 25 June 2015. Web. 29 June 2015.
2. “Honokiol Inhibits the Growth of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma by Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor.” Impact Journals. Oncotarget, 19 May 2015. Web. 29 June 2015.
3. “Head and Neck Cancers.” National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 29 June 2015.

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