Flavonoids are one of the most promising natural anti-cancer products that have been studied. Unlike the traditional chemosynthetic drugs, which are non-specific in their activity, some flavonoids have been shown to be capable of selectively targeting cancer cells by blocking enzyme systems or processes essential to the growth and function of cancer cells. All forms of cancer are thought to be susceptible to the influence of flavonoids, particularly breast, uterine, ovarian, testicular, large bowel, endometrial and prostate cancers, as well as leukaemia.
Flavonoids are ubiquitous in plant foods and drinks, and as such rarely have any side effects, do not break down easily and are readily absorbed by the intestine.
Metavone has also undertaken preliminary scientific studies with a lead compound identified as being the most promising of the Company’s isoflavone compounds. This research looked at the ability of the compound to inhibit the growth of breast, ovarian, cervical, melanoma, myeloma and prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.
Preliminary work suggests that the lead compound is able to inhibit the growth of two breast cancer cell-lines in the laboratory. In some cases, it was much more active in inhibiting tumour cell growth than the demonstrated anti-cancer flavonoid genestein. Metavone examined a panel of twelve candidate isoflavone compounds for their ability to act against a range of cancer cells in the laboratory.
Six of the compounds demonstrated significantly greater anti-cancer activity than either of the known anti-cancer agents genestein and 5-0H-0-DMA. Four compounds showed a similar level of activity to genestein and 5-0H-0-DMA, and two compounds demonstrated weaker anti-cancer activity.
Metavone will further study the anti-cancer activity of several of its isoflavone compounds. Of particular interest will be the role these compounds play in specifically halting the cancer cell cycle and inducing apoptosis (cell suicide). This is because isoflavones have a demonstrated ability to induce the caspase group of enzymes, which are critically involved in the apoptosis process. Metavone has already started studying the influence of its compounds on this group of enzymes and their capacity to induce cancer cell suicide. Caspase enzymes also have a significant role in the inflammatory process and neuronal cell death commonly seen in Alzheimer’s disease.