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Milk Thistle Flavanone Cuts Lung Tumor Growth in Mice

Dietary silibinin inhibits tumor angiogenesis

WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Silibinin, a flavanone from milk thistle, reduces the size and number of lung tumors as well as the density of blood vessels feeding the tumors when given to mice as part of their diets, according to a study in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Rajesh Agarwal, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver, and colleagues induced lung tumors in mice with urethane, then fed them a diet containing doses of silibinin between 0 percent and 1 percent for 18 or 27 weeks.

The researchers found that mice fed the highest dose of silibinin had 93 percent fewer large tumors than mice receiving no silibinin, 41 percent to 74 percent fewer cells that were positive for cell proliferation markers, a reduction of up to 89 percent in tumor microvessel density, and a reduction in the expression of vascular endothelial-derived growth factor in the lung tumors.

"Silibinin inhibits lung tumor angiogenesis in an animal model and merits investigation as a chemopreventive agent for suppressing lung cancer progression," Agarwal and colleagues conclude.

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