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Oleander Found to Induce Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer Cells
by Tony M. Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) In a study published in peer reviewed journals, an aqueous extract of the oleander plant was found to induce and increase autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells. Autophagy is a process in which a cell destroys proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm (the fluid inside the cell membrane but outside the nucleus), which may lead to cell death, as happened in the study with pancreatic cancer cells. The study was led by noted MD Anderson researcher Doctor Robert Newman, the lead research scientist in a number of important studies on oleander and oleander compounds and can accessed by clicking the link below:Autophagic_Cell_Death.pdf
The study appears to provide yet another important piece of evidence in understanding why oleander has proven to be successful against a great many forms of cancer. In previous studies, oleander extracts have been shown to 1) inhibit angiogenesis, the process where cancer produces blood vessels and spreads, 2) inhibit the NF-kB factor in cancer cells, which is the process that cells use to protect themselves when they come under attack, 3) induce apoptosis, or normal cell death, in cancer cells, and 4) greatly stimulate immune activity.
Oleander has had success against a broad spectrum of cancers since Doctor H. Ziya Ozel began working with oleander extracts in 1966 in Turkey. Dr. Ozel subsequently went on to successfully treat thousands of patients, many of whom were in advanced stages and whom mainstream chemo and radiation treatments had failed to help. The Salud Integral Clinic has continued that success for the past several years and also reports successes against a wide variety of cancers and other cell proliferative diseases and immune disorders.
For several years, Phoenix Biotech was the only active manufacturer of the patented oleander medication Anvirzel, which has passed FDA phase I toxicity trials and has been used successfully outside the United States for many years, including the Salud Integral Clinic in Honduras, which Phoenix Biotech owns. Phoenix has spun off the Anvirzel portion of it's operations, including the Honduras facility, and is now concentrating all of it's efforts in oleander medicine on a new pill form and proprietary extraction method that uses liquid carbon dioxide and micro-fine particles of oleander and which is reported to result in a greater concentration of the cardiac glycosides and no loss of all the supporting compounds.
The spin off unit is named Nerium Biotechnology in Canada, whose president is former Phoenix manager Dennis Knocke. In a conversation with Mr. Knocke, he reported that pancreatic cancer is one of the greatest areas of success for Anvirzel. Although Anvirzel is very successful against virtually all cancers, very few other options have much success at all against the deadly and fast growing pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer, which is normally fatal within only a few months of diagnoses, yet Mr. Knocke reports that they have pancreatic cancer patients still alive years later who are healthy and doing well. He also reported speaking with two of the newer pancreatic cancer patients recently and said that both of whom were alive and doing well five months after their diagnosis. One patient's cancer had stopped growing and was stabilized and another had no signs of tumors or cancer at all now.
Other examples of Anvirzel's successes with difficult cancer include, melanoma, esophageal cancer and brain tumors. Oleander, which crosses the blood/brain barrier has been very successful against brain tumors in general and childhood brain tumors in particular.
How Oleander Extract Works Against Cancer
An extract of oleander (Nerium oleander) that contains oleandrin is effacious in the treatment of tumors. This use is species-specific and is correlated with Na, K-ATPase isoforms. Additionally, oleandrin raises the intracellular calcium level, releases cytochrome C from mitochondria, and induces apoptosis through a caspase-dependent pathway.
Also, oleandrin inhibits the release of tumor growth factor bFGF from tumors. bFGF has many tumor-proliferating effects including promoting angiogenesis.
Oleandrin was determined to block the activation of NF-kB, which in turn blocks the cell-survival function of NF-kB. In addition, a non-water-soluble fraction of oleander is able to produce oxygen free-radicals in tumor cells, which may contribute to tumor cell injury and death. Oleandrin, particularly when in the context of oleandrin and oleander extract, is able to cross the blood-brain-barrier.
Evidence suggests that oleandrin and oleander extract have antiviral activity. Development continues as the oleander extract is nontoxic to normal cells and exhibits multiple antitumor activities such as inducing apoptosis, reducing molecular mechanisms of cell survival, and inhibiting tumor-promoting factor bFGF-2.
Image and Description Source: Salud Integral http://www.saludintegral.hn/
Records of the medicinal use of oleander date back at least 3500 years. The Mesopotamians in the 15th century BC believed in the healing properties of oleander and the ancient Babylonians used a mixture of oleander and licorice to treat hangovers. Roman soldiers also regularly took an oleander extract for hangovers. Pliny, the Elder of ancient Greece, wrote about the appearance and properties of oleander. Arab physicians first used oleander as a cancer treatment in the 8th century AD.
Today, the most common forms of oleander are Anvirzel, a dietary supplement from South Africa known as Sutherlandia OPC (http://www.sutherlandiaopc.com), the recently introduced Rose Laurel OPC Plus (made by the same pharmaceutical manufacturing company as Sutherlandia OPC but shipped from the U.S.), and an increasingly popular home remedy known as "oleander soup" which is based on the original patent by Dr. Ozel.
Excerpted from the author's book "Cancer's Natural Enemy".
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