German scientists have discovered that a compound found in capsicum peppers inhibits and slows down growth of breast cancer cells.
Scientists from Ruhr‑University Bochum and University of Cologne carried out an experiment using a cell line called SUM149PT which is derived from an inflammatory breast cancer or triple-negative line breast cancer.
Capsicum contains capsaicin compound that can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
In the cultivated cells, the researchers detected a number of typical olfactory receptors
, which is expressed in the nasal cavity but in the recent years, found in the heart, blood, liver and even in sperm
“One receptor occurred very frequently; it is usually found in the fifth cranial nerve. It belongs to the so-called transient receptor potential channels and is named TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor).”
American Cancer Society says 40,450 women will die from breast cancer.
is found in the peripheral nervous system and can be activated by capsaicin, helonial used in perfumes, as well as by allyl isothiocyanate in wasabi, mustard and radish.
It was confirmed that TRPV1 receptors were present in tumor cells in nine different samples from patients suffering from breast cancer.
The receptor TRPV1 needs to be activated and the researchers did so by adding capsaicin and helonial to the cultivated cells for a period of several hours or days.
The result showed that the cancer cells have divided more slowly. The most remarkable result is that the treatment caused a massive death of tumors. The cells that survived reduced their speed and their ability to metastasize were blocked.
The next big step for the researchers is to figure out if other drugs can activate TRPV1 as a new treatment approach since intake of capsaicin or inhalation of helonial are deemed insufficient.
Dove Medical Press is one of the open-access journals which published the study