Oleander Found to Induce Autophagy Against Cancer Cells
a CureZone exclusive story by Tony Isaacs
September 19, 2007
Phoenix Biotech manager Dennis Knocke reported today that noted MD Anderson researcher Doctor Robert Newman, the lead research scientist in a number of important studies on oleander and oleander compounds, has recently finished a new study due to be published soon in a peer reviewed journal which indicates that oleander induces and increases autophagy, a natural body mechanism which encapsulates cells and signals for them to be cannibalized and destroyed.
The new study appears to provide an important new piece of evidence in understanding why oleander has proven to be successful against many forms of cancer. In previous studies on oleander, many of which were also led by Dr. Newman, 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.
Phoenix Biotech is the manufacturer of the patented oleander medication Anvirzel, which has passed FDA phase I toxicity trials and has been used successfully by doctors and clinics outside the United States for many years, including the Salud Integral Clinic in Honduras, which Phoenix Biotech owns.
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.
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.
One example of Anvirzel's success is brain tumors. Oleander, which crosses the blood/brain barrier has been very successful against brain tumors in general and childhood brain tumors in particular. Another example is pancreatic cancer, which is normally fatal within only a few months of diagnoses. Mr. Knocke reports that they have pancreatic cancer patients still alive years later who are healthy and doing well. The same is true for esophogeal cancer, and many others.
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, and an increasingly popular home remedy known as "oleander soup" which is based on the original patent by Dr. Ozel.
Mr. Knocke also reported that Phoenix, which has developed an entirely new method of producing oleander extract and has a new pill version soon to be introduced, intends to release a large amount of proprietary information about oleander soon.
When that information is released, CureZone readers will be among the first to know.