Bitter Melon and Pancreatic Cancer

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 in Research

A fruit commonly consumed in Asian countries could also play an important role in fighting cancer, according to a new study in mice.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that the juice of the bitter melon — a green squash-shaped produce with a bumpy skin — could stop pancreatic cancer cells from metabolizing glucose. This is important because cancer cells need this energy in order to survive — and blocking off their glucose supply kills them.

“It’s a very exciting finding,” study researcher Rajesh Agarwal, Ph.D., who is the co-program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control at the university, said in a statement. “Many researchers are engineering new drugs to target cancer cells’ ability to supply themselves with energy, and here we have a naturally-occurring compound that may do just that.”