Lung Cancer

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Inositol Supplement

(Best Syndication News) Scientists say they may be able to predict which smokers are at a higher risk for lung cancer. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and the University of Utah have found the expression of genes belonging to one specific cancer-related pathway, PI3K, are activated in the cells that line the airway of smokers with lung cancer.


Now that they have identified the gene expression activity that precedes the development of lung cancer, they say they have a possible fix. The “chemopreventiatve agent myo-inositol (Inositol) targets the pathway.

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Lead author Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, chief of the section of computational biomedicine in the department of medicine at BUSM, says this is an important discovery. "This finding is significant as these cells can be obtained in a relatively non-invasive fashion from the airway of smokers at risk for lung cancer, and does not require invasive sampling of lung tissue where lung tumors normally arise," Spira said.

Lung Cancer Treatment

They found that the PI3K pathway gene expression activity of high-risk smokers with premalignant lesions benefited after using myo-inositol. This proved that myo-inositol inhibits the PI3K pathway in lung cancer cell lines.

Besides inositol, they may be able to evaluate the airway gene expression activity to tailor make a drug that inhibit or reduce the risk of lung cancer. “Our work has the potential to help address the enormous and growing public health burden associated with lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the US and the world," added Spira.

Which Foods Have Inositol

Inositol is a relatively inexpensive supplement. It is nearly tasteless with a small amount of sweetness. It is naturally occurring. Inositol, a component in vitamin B-complex is different from inositol hexaniacinate, a form of vitamin B3. There are foods that contain inositol.

It can be purchased as a supplement and can be found in beans, nuts, wheat and wheat bran, cantaloupe, and oranges. One study found that there was more myo-inositol in “fresh” fruits and vegetables than frozen or canned.

So can you start taking the supplements? “I don’t think it would be wrong or bad, and they can certainly do it (take inositol)”, said NBC Science Specialist Robert Bazell. Doctors will not recommend it until after positive results are received from a clinical trial.

The research is published in the April 7th issue of Science Translational Medicine.

By: Jeffrey Workman
Health Writer



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