ANN ARBOR, MI – Ginger is known to ease nausea and control inflammation. But researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating a new use for this age-old remedy: treating ovarian cancer.
J. Rebecca Liu, M.D.In laboratory studies, researchers found ginger caused ovarian cancer cells to die. Further, the way in which the cells died suggests ginger may avoid the problem common in ovarian cancer of cells becoming resistant to standard treatments.
The researchers are presenting their results in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.
Researchers used ginger powder, similar to what is sold at grocery stores, only a standardized research grade. The ginger powder was dissolved in solution and applied to ovarian cancer cell cultures. Ginger induced cell death in all the ovarian cancer cell lines tested.
Moreover, the researchers found that ginger caused two types of cell death. One type, known as apoptosis, results from cancer cells essentially committing suicide. The other type of cell death, called autophagy, results from cells digesting or attacking themselves.