Nigerian researchers want to investigate possible anti-cancer effects of local honey
In the past, some research showed that honey, which is a sweet liquid that insects make, has potential anticancer properties. Researchers now want to look into using Nigerian honey as a treatment for liver cancer for the first time.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HPC), commonly known as liver cancer, is common in men and women. Liver cancer cells can evade anticancer drugs, which often causes the cancer to come back after treatment (this is known as cancer recurrence).
So, researchers have started looking at natural products like honey for cancer prevention and treatment. The authors of this proposed study say that there is some evidence that honey might have anticancer properties, but they want to look specifically at possible anticancer properties of Nigerian honey from a chemical and biological perspective.
The researchers want to understand how exactly Nigerian honey might stop liver cancer cells from growing and fighting off current cancer medicines. They plan to look at genetic changes in animal models and liver cancer cells, as well as the exact chemical make-up of Nigerian honey.
They said they plan to artificially cause liver cancer in rats, and will then study any changes in the rats’ genetics and cancer indicators, or markers, when using either honey or other treatments. They will also look at how toxic the honey may be as a cancer therapeutic.
The researchers say if this proposed study is successful, it will be the first to investigate how Nigerian honey can be used as a treatment for liver cancer.
The authors did not mention why they want to use Nigerian honey for this research project. They also did not refer to any other previous studies that may have looked at Nigerian honey as a cancer treatment option. From the study they will not be able to use the honey as a treatment, but instead, look at the chemicals in the honey to see if it could have anti-cancer effects.
The authors of this study are from Nigeria.
Cancer is one of the major deadly diseases affecting humans around the world, Nigeria inclusive. Liver cancer also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer in males and the seventh most common cancer in females and the third leading cause of cancer death globally . Limited treatment for high-risk liver cancer and poor prognosis was recorded, in addition to its resistance, recurrence, progression and invasion. Resistance of liver cancer to conventional therapies added to severe side effects prompted the search for a novel therapeutic approach based on natural products such as the Nigerian honey. Honey and its components were documented to have significant anti-cancer activity against many types of cancer including liver cancer in both in vivo and in vitro studies. However, the mechanism of anti-cancer activity of honey as a chemopreventive and therapeutic agent has not been completely elucidated, and to our knowledge, there is no study carried out to investigate the effects of Nigerian honey on cancer cells. It is in view of this that this project aims to pre-clinically evaluate the molecular mechanism of anti-cancer activity of the Nigerian honey on liver cancer cells through the use of molecular techniques. A full understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms elicits by honey in killing cancer cells may lead to the use of the honey or its polyphenols at clinical level for effective treatment of many types of human cancer in the future.
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