Modified tomato molecule could help cancer sufferers

16 November 2015

Lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, has been known to have strong potential as a cancer treatment, but until now it has been difficult to measure its progress through the body.

However, a research team at the University of Illinois has found that they are able to modify the molecular weight of lycopene, allowing them to track the chemical changes it undergoes inside the human body.

While it has been shown to reduce the size and incidence of prostate tumours in laboratory models, it has previously been impossible to measure its effectiveness in humans due to the chemical changes during the metabolisation of lycopene.

Lead researcher John Erdman said: “With this tool, we can trace lycopene's absorption, biodistribution, and metabolism in the body of healthy adults. In the future, we will be able to conduct such studies in men who have prostate cancer and gain important information about this plant component's anti-cancer activity."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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