Green Tea Component May Help Fight Mesothelioma

A study was recently published in Cancer Cell International that suggests that an ingredient in green tea, known as epigallocathechin-3-gallate (EGCG), induces cell death in mesothelioma cell lines. When introduced into the body in specific dosages, researchers found the agent to cause the mesothelioma cells to self-destruct.

Mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are excited to report about developments of this kind, which provide much hope for victims of asbestos exposure and their families.
The study was conducted by five Japanese researchers from top oncology and biomedical institutions. They examined the effects of EGCG on five human mesothelioma cell lines, to determine whether the doses could induce cell death, and what the precise killing mechanism was.

The researchers found that EGCG provoked reactive oxygen species in the mesothelioma cells, which leads to oxidative stress, and ultimately, cell death. EGCG is known to cause oxidative stress in humans, which refers to the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and the body’s ability to repair the resulting damage.

Oxidative stress is involved in numerous diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart failure. The type of oxidative stress induced by EGCG is a short-term mechanism, and is used by the immune system to attack and kill the mesothelioma cells.
All living cells have their own mechanisms of reduction, which is preserved by enzymes. If an outside agent comes in and disturbs the normal mechanisms, it can cause extremely toxic effects that damage all components of the cell. In this case, that outside agent is the EGCG.

The researchers treated all five mesothelioma cell lines with EGCG for 24 hours, and observed that the doses (ranging from 10 to 500 micrometers) reduced the cell’s capabilities. The specific doses needed to inhibit cell growth by 50% were: 179, 29, 42, 128, and 35 micrometers.

They next studied the specific transfers of genetic materials in the cells involved in the growth inhibition. They examined this to further clarify whether the growth inhibition was due to cell self-destruction. It was found that EGCG did indeed induce self-destruction in those cell lines. Researchers also found that EGCG induced autophagy in the mesothelioma cells, which is the segregation and disposal of damaged cell organs.

Autophagy has two functions in cancer cell lines, it can either inhibit the tumor or promote tumor growth. In this study, researchers found the autophagy protected mesothelioma cells from self-destructing. Upon this observation, they used CQ, which is a well-known inhibitor drug, to suppress the autophagy and enhance the cell death.

There are many studies on the effects of EGCG on cancer cells, however, there are only two papers that examine EGCG-induced mesothelioma cell death. Experiments are currently underway to test the EGCG and CQ combination therapy in live animals to confirm the results of this study and move forward in gaining clinical trial designation. If those animal studies are successful, the EGCG-CQ treatments may be available for clinical trials at major cancer treatment centers across the country.

EGCG, as stated, is found in green tea, and has long been believed to help fight cancer and other diseases. This study did not discuss whether or not drinking any amount of green tea can have the same effects on cancer cells, and according to the American Cancer Society, much more research is needed to determine if green tea, as it is sold in stores, can help in any kind of cancer prevention or treatment.

Mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are hopeful that this research will quickly make it through the process of being available for human clinical trials. Mesothelioma, like asbestosis and other lung cancers, is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos, which was most evident in the automotive, construction, and shipyard industries. If you or someone you love developed a disease you suspect is related to asbestos, contact an experienced asbestos exposure attorney immediately for a free legal consultation.