Williams Cancer Institute

Effects of Low Dose Quercetin: Cancer Cell-Specific Inhibition of Cell Cycle Progression

Introduction: Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables, known for its potential health benefits. This article explores the effects of low-dose quercetin on cancer cells, specifically its ability to inhibit cell cycle progression.

The Role of Quercetin in Cancer Treatment:

  1. Cell Cycle Regulation: Quercetin has been shown to interfere with the cell cycle of cancer cells. It can induce cell cycle arrest, preventing cancer cells from dividing and multiplying.
  2. Antioxidant Properties: Quercetin acts as an antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress and preventing DNA damage, which is a contributing factor to cancer development.
  3. Apoptosis Induction: Quercetin has the potential to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells, a crucial mechanism for inhibiting tumor growth.

Cancer Cell-Specific Effects: One intriguing aspect of low-dose quercetin is its cancer cell-specific action. It tends to affect cancer cells more than normal healthy cells, which makes it a potential candidate for targeted cancer therapy.

Research Findings: Studies have shown that low doses of quercetin can selectively inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells without significantly affecting normal cells. This selectivity is promising for minimizing side effects during cancer treatment.

Types of Cancer Studied: Research has focused on various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer. In each case, low-dose quercetin has demonstrated the potential to slow cancer cell growth and induce cell death.

Combination Therapy: Quercetin’s compatibility with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is being explored. Combining low-dose quercetin with conventional treatments may enhance their effectiveness.

Conclusion: Low-dose quercetin shows promise as a cancer cell-specific inhibitor of cell cycle progression. Its ability to selectively target cancer cells while sparing healthy ones is a key area of interest in cancer research. While further studies are needed to establish its clinical applications, quercetin represents a potential avenue for cancer treatment, particularly when used in combination with existing therapies.

Reference: Jae-Hoon Jeong, Jee Young An, Yong Tae Kwon, Juong G. Rhee, Yong J. Lee, 01 Jan 2009, Effects of low dose quercetin: Cancer cell-specific inhibition of cell cycle progression, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2736626/

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