Bromelain Enhances the Efficacy of Chemo Drug and Reduced Adverse Effects

By Kyle J. Norton

Bromelain may have a strong effect in enhancing the chemo drug effect for the treatment of cancer, according to studies.

Chemo drugs are a group of medication used for the treatment of cancers that have been spread to other healthy tissues and organ or reduce the size of the tumor before removing it by surgery.

Cancer is the class of diseases caused by irregular cell growth in the organ tissues. The originated site where the cancer starts are considered primary cancer.

Most cancers at the advanced stage can induce secondary metastasis, by traveling a distance away from the primary site to infect other healthy tissues and organs.

Conventionally, the use of chemo drugs may be effective in controlling cancer, however, the medicines also have been found to cause significant side effects, including hair loss, easy bruising and bleeding, infection, anemia and gastrointestinal discomforts such as nausea and vomiting and constipation, leading to reduce the quality of life of patients at the time of treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society, in the US,  nearly 14.5 million children and adults with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2014.

Believe it or not, prostate (43%), colon and rectum (9%), and melanoma (8%) are the three most common cancers among male cancer survivors and breast (41%), uterine corpus (8%), and colon and rectum (8%) are the most common among female survivors.

Most cases of cancer can be treated successfully if diagnosed in the early stage. Some cancers such as breast cancer have a 5-year survival rate closed to 100% if diagnosed at the local stage.

As of today, due to unbearable side effects in some of the cancer patients, the scientist community are in the urgency to discover plant compounds that can improve the chemo drugs efficacy accompanied by reducing the adverse effect through doses reduction.

Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapples (Ananas comosus) has been used in traditional medicine as an inflammatory agent and to treat pains, strains, and muscle aches and pains and ease back pain and chronic joint pain, skin diseases, etc.

In the urgency to discover a natural compound which enhances the chemo drug penetration for the treatment of cancer, researchers examined the antitumor properties of bromelain on hydrolyzing glycosidic linkages in faulty glycoprotein associated with cancer.

Injection of bromelain has been found to inhibit the MUC1, a glycoprotein involved in tumor cells invasion, metastasis, and chemo-resistant properties.

Additionally, bromelain enhanced the efficacy of cisplatin and 5-FU in cancer treatment by affecting the barrier function of MUC1.

Furthermore, bromelain protected the integrity and of the viability of skin cells against the onset of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) induced by expression of MUC1.

Based on the results, researchers said, “current evidence indicates that bromelain may have the potential of being developed into an effective anticancer agent for MPM”.

Moreover, also in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), treatment with various concentrations of bromelain and after 4 and 72 h showed an adverse effect on the tested cancer cell through its antitumor activity in inducing cell death by apoptosis and autophagy.

Interestingly, the combinations of bromelain and cytotoxic drugs (cisplatin or 5-FU) assessed at 72 h showed a significant effect in inducing cytotoxicity compared to the bromelain treatment group.
These results suggested that bromelain may be combined with conventional chemo drug to enhance the anti-cancer effect and reduce the adverse effect of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

Taken altogether, bromelain may be considered supplements for the enhancement of chemotherapy, and reduction of side effects, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of bromelain in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Anticancer property of bromelain with therapeutic potential in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma by Pillai K1, Akhter J, Chua TC, Morris DL. (PubMed)
(2) Anticancer effect of bromelain with and without cisplatin or 5-FU on malignant peritoneal mesothelioma cells by Pillai K1, Ehteda A, Akhter J, Chua TC, Morris DL. (PubMed)
(3) Estimated Numbers of Cancer Survivors by State as of January 1, 2014