Mannose sugar, a dietary supplement, can delay tumor growth and boost the chemotherapy effectiveness in lab mice suffering from a variety of cancers, according to a study that marks a breakthrough in the understanding of how mannose can help treat cancer.
Mannose is a natural plain sugar, which can be located in tiny quantities in a range of fruits and vegetables, including apricots, apples, cranberries, peaches, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, and many others.
Cancer tumors consume more glucose than regular, disease-free tissues. But it is tough to control the quantity of sugar in your body just by dieting. In this study, the investigators found that mannose may interact with glucose to decrease the level of sugars that cancer cells might use.
“In our study, we found a dose of mannose sugar that might block enough glucose to slow tumor growth in mice, but not so much that normal tissues would be affected,” explained Kevin Ryan from the Beatson Cancer Research Institute in the United Kingdom, and the study’s leading author.
Mannose Sugar Might Decrease Tumors Development And Enhance Chemotherapy Treatment
“This is initial research, but it is hoped that finding this perfect balance will mean that, in the future, mannose could be given to cancer patients to improve chemotherapy without harming their overall health,” the scientists continued.
To see how mannose may also impact cancer treatment, the mice were given cisplatin and doxorubicin, which are the two most widely prescribed chemotherapy medications. They detected that mannose sugar enhanced chemotherapy effectiveness by decreasing tumor development, shrinking tumors and even prolonging the lifespan in some of the lab mice.
“Our next step is to investigate why the treatment only works in some cancer cells so that we can determine which patients can benefit most from this approach. We hope to begin clinical trials with mannose in people as soon as possible to determine its true potential as a new cancer therapy,” concluded Professor Kevin Ryan.