A new study shows that whole tomato extracts from two different Southern Italy varieties inhibit gastric cancer cell growth and malignant features, paving the way for future studies aimed at implementing lifestyle habits not only for prevention, but potentially as a support to conventional therapies.
“Their antitumoral effect seem not related to specific components, such as lycopene, but rather suggest that tomatoes should be considered in their entirety,” says Daniela Barone, researcher at the Oncology Research Center of Mercogliano (CROM), and one of the authors of the study.
Experimenters analyzed whole tomato lipid extracts for their ability to tackle various abnormal features of gastric cancer cell lines. Extracts of both the San Marzano and Corbarino tomato varieties were able to inhibit the growth and cloning behavior of malignant cells.
Treatment with the whole tomato extracts affected key processes within the cells, hindering their ability to migrate and reproduce, and ultimately inducing cancer cell death through apoptosis.
“Our results prompt further assessment of the potential use of specific nutrients not only in the cancer prevention setting but also as a supportive strategy along with conventional therapies,” says Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Molecular Medicine, Temple University and Professor of Pathology and Oncology at the University of Siena, Italy.
Gastric cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer worldwide and has been associated with genetic causes, Helicobacter pylori infection, and eating habits, such as consumption of smoked and salted food.
Tomatoes are consumed worldwide and are a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which is popularly thought to lower cancer risk. Various tomato components have also been analyzed for their ability to counteract tumor growth in experimental systems, although few studies have analyzed the effects of tomatoes in their entirety.
Source: Daniela Barone, Letizia Cito, Giuseppina Tommonaro, Agnese Anna Abate, Danila Penon, Rocco De Prisco, Antonella Penon, Iris Maria Forte, Elisabetta Benedetti, Annamaria Cimini, Paola Indovina, Barbara Nicolaus, Francesca Pentimalli, Antonio Giordano. Antitumoral Potential, Antioxidant Activity and Carotenoid Content of Two Southern Italy Tomato Cultivars Extracts: San Marzano and Corbarino. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/jcp.25995