“ß-Carboline Alkaloid–Enriched Extract from the Amazonian Rain Forest Tree Pao Pereira Suppresses
Prostate Cancer Cells”

 

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Bark extracts from the Amazonian rain forest tree Geissospermum vellosii (pao pereira), enriched in ß-carboline alkaloids have significant anticancer activities in certain preclinical models. Because of the predominance of prostate cancer as a cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality for men of Western countries, we preclinically tested the in vitro and in vivo effects of a pao pereira extract against a prototypical human prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP. When added to cultured LNCaP cells, pao pereira extract significantly suppressed cell growth in a dose-dependent fashion and induced apoptosis. Immunodeficient mice heterotopically xenografted with LNCaP cells were gavaged daily with pao pereira extract or vehicle control over 6 weeks. Tumor growth was suppressed by up to 80% in some groups compared with tumors in vehicle-treated mice. However, we observed a striking U-shaped dose-response curve in which the highest dose tested (50 mg/kg/d) was much less effective in inducing tumor cell apoptosis and in reducing tumor cell proliferation and xenograft growth compared with lower doses (10 or 20 mg/kg/d). Although this study supports the idea that a pao pereira bark extract has activity against human prostate cancer, our in vivo results suggest that its potential effectiveness in prostate cancer treatment may be limited to a narrow dose range.

Key words: pao pereira, preclinical, prostate cancer

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” The history of science is filled with stories of men and women who, with their breakthrough discoveries, challenged the existing powerful interests of their day. These heroes of science (who often became political heroes as well) often demonstrated great courage to face off against extremely well funded, established and profitable cartels like the intertwined interests of the chemical and food industries and the cancer and medical establishments. These scientific pioneers frequently suffered greatly for their courage in advocating truth over traditional theories, however unpopular and unwanted the truth may have been—at least by the most powerful moneyed interests…”

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