According to a brand-new study, bees may offer hope to men who suffer from prostate cancer. A brand-new study from the University of Chicago Medical School shows that an over-the-counter natural remedy from honeybee hives stops the growth of prostate cancer cells and tumors in mice.
The promising substance is called Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, or CAPE. It comes from a substance called propolis, which bees produce and use in their hives to patch up holes and to encapsulate foreign invaders.
For centuries, propolis has been recognized and used as a natural remedy. It’s shown effective against conditions ranging from sore throats and allergies to burns and cancer. And based on early lab trials, it is even being studied as a possible treatment for HIV/AIDS.
Now, Science Daily reports the results of the exciting prostate cancer treatment and research conducted with CAPE study that was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Researchers [found] that CAPE arrests early-stage prostate cancer by shutting down the tumor cells’ system for detecting sources of nutrition.
“If you feed CAPE to mice daily, their tumors will stop growing. After several weeks, if you stop the treatment, the tumors will begin to grow again at their original pace,” said Richard B. Jones, PhD, assistant professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology and senior author of the study. “So it doesn’t kill the cancer, but it basically will indefinitely stop prostate cancer proliferation.”
[F]irst author Chih-Pin Chuu (now at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan) tested the compound on a series of cancer cell lines…CAPE successfully slowed the proliferation of cultured cells isolated from human prostate tumors.
CAPE was also effective at slowing the growth of human prostate tumors grafted into mice. Six weeks of treatment with the compound decreased tumor volume growth rate by half, but when CAPE treatment was stopped, tumor growth resumed its prior rate.
“It appears that CAPE basically stops the ability of prostate cancer cells to sense that there’s nutrition available,” Jones said. “They stop all of the molecular signatures that would suggest that nutrition exists, and the cells no longer have that proliferative response to nutrition.”
These results suggest that CAPE might halt the growth of prostate tumors in humans. Jones cautioned, however, that clinical trials would be necessary before CAPE could be proven an effective and safe prostate cancer treatment for humans.
In the meantime, the CAPE experiments offer further support for the healing potential of propolis and its components.