Modified citrus pectin can inhibit the growth and metastasis of prostate cancer and kill leukemia cells

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, and statistics indicate that there are over two million prostate cancer survivors currently living in the United States. It is most common in men over the age of 65 and is rated as the second most common cause of cancer-related death in American males. While early detection often results in survival, when the cancer is discovered later, or it has spread elsewhere in the body, the chances of survival decrease dramatically.

Leukemia is another form of cancer that claims many lives each year. While the overall five-year survival rate has quadrupled since the 1960s, leukemia still kills over 24,000 people annually.

Conventional treatment options for these forms of cancer are debilitating and can result in many short- and long-term side effects. Now, a study conducted by researchers from Dharma Biomedical LLC and the Department of Pathology at Miami Children’s Hospital, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has found that modified citrus pectin (MCP) can enhance the benefits of natural killer (NK) and T-cytotoxic cells, destroying live leukemia cells.

Their work built on earlier research published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, which found that MCP also impedes cancer cell growth and metastasis in prostate cancer patients.

What is prostate cancer and how is it affected by MCP?

Prostate Cancer News Today provides a detailed explanation of exactly what prostate cancer is:

Prostate cancer developes [sic] in a man’s prostate gland, located below the bladder, near the rectum and around the urethra. It is responsible for the production of a fluid that is expelled in sperm during ejaculation. Prostate cancer develops when the cells in the prostate grow out of control, instead of dividing and dying like the healthy cells.


Since the disease affects both the urinary and reproductive systems, it causes a host of unpleasant symptoms, including the need to urinate more frequently, particularly at night; painful, burning urination; trouble starting to urinate or holding urine back; a weak flow of urine; erectile dysfunction; blood in the semen or urine; pain in the hips, thighs and lower back; and painful ejaculation. (Related: Pomegranate juice has DRAMATIC effects in slowing the development of prostate cancer.)

Referencing the earlier study that looked at the link between MCP and prostate cancer, the more recent study abstract notes:

Human clinical trials with MCP showed an increase in prostate specific antigen doubling time, a marker of slowing the progression of prostate cancer, and significant improvement of quality of life and stabilization of disease for patients with advanced solid tumors.

The facts about leukemia and MCP

Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow or blood. Bone marrow is responsible for producing blood cells, and leukemia develops when there is a problem with this production process, resulting in DNA damage. It generally affects the white blood cells, causing them to continuously divide and grow until there are too many. Eventually these unhealthy cancer cells replace the healthy cells produced in the bone marrow, crowding out space in the blood. (Related: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia breakthrough: Green tea extract halts cancer progression in majority of patients.)

The recent study used blood samples to show that a specific form of modified citrus pectin can enhance the production and benefits of T-cytotoxic cells – a type of white blood cell that kills cancer cells – and Natural Killer (NK) cells – white blood cells that are vitally important to immune function and which play a major role in the rejection of tumors.

Dr. Isaac Eliaz, one of the study’s authors, noted, “With this new data on Modified Citrus Pectin’s powerful immune effects, together with the extensive research on its ability to block cancer-promoting galectin-3 molecules, we now have a much greater understanding of MCP’s extensive benefits in fighting and protecting against cancer.”

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