Onion Compound May Boost Chemotherapy Effects in Ovarian Cancer, Study Finds

Onion Compound May Boost Chemotherapy Effects in Ovarian Cancer, Study Finds
A natural compound isolated from onions is able to reduce the progression of ovarian cancer by interfering with the myeloid cells found in the tumor microenvironment, a new study published in Scientific Reports found. The study, "Onionin A inhibits ovarian cancer progression by suppressing cancer cell proliferation and the protumour function of macrophages," conducted at Kumamoto University in Japan suggests that this compound, called onionin A (ONA), may have the power to enhance existing anti-cancer agents with little additional toxicity. Epithelial ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal female cancers worldwide. Although it is ranked 10th among female cancers, it is the fifth cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Because nearly 80 percent of patients relapse following their initial treatment with chemotherapy, new and more effective lines of treatment are required to improve the outcomes of epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Tumor-associated macrophages are key components of the ovarian cancer microenvironment, and are thought to be involved in the dissemination of cancer cells into the peritoneum. Macrophages can differentiate into various activation states depending on the chemical signals found in their microenvironment. In ovarian cancer, nearly all tumor-associated macrophages differentiate into an M2 state, which is known to promote tumor growth, generation of new blood vessels, metastasis formation, and immunosuppression. Therefore, macrophage polarization into an M2 stage
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