Onion can now be helpful in curing ovarian cancer in women. Yes, a new study has found that a natural compound found in onions may help treat the most common type of ovarian cancer.
Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan studied the effects of a natural onion compound, onionin A (ONA), on a preclinical model of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) both in vivo and in vitro.
According to a 2014 review of cancer medicines from the World Health Organisation, EOC is the most common type of ovarian cancer and has a five-year survival rate of about 40 per cent, researchers said.
It has a relatively low lifetime risk that is less than one per cent, but that can increase up to 40 per cent if there is a family history of the disease.
A majority of patients (80 per cent) experience a relapse after their initial treatment with chemotherapy; therefore, a more effective line of treatment is needed.
After examining the effects of ONA on a preclinical model of EOC in cells, the researchers found that the growth of EOCs slowed down after the team introduced ONA.
They also discovered that ONA inhibited pro-tumor activities of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which the researchers say are linked with the suppression of the anti-tumor immune response of host lymphocytes.
Furthermore, they found that ONA enhanced anti-cancer drugs' effects by boosting their anti-proliferation ability.
In further experiments on an ovarian cancer mouse model, the researchers used oral doses of ONA. Results showed that the mice had longer lifespans and showed diminished ovarian cancer tumor development.
No side effects in animals have been observed. With a little more testing, an oral ONA supplement could greatly benefit cancer patients, researchers aid.