Tomato Extracts Show Gastric Cancer Fighting Properties

Southern Italy tomato varieties demonstrated a potential role against typical neoplastic features.

Extracts of 2 Southern Italy tomato varieties inhibited the growth and replication of malignant gastric cancer cells, according to a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

For the study, investigators sought to analyze the effects of total tomato lipophilic extracts on an in vitro model of gastric cancer and YCC-1, YCC-2, and YCC-3 cell lines.

The results of the study showed that extracts of both the San Marzano and Corbarino tomato varieties affected key processes within the cells, preventing their ability to migrate and arrest the cell cycle through the modulation of retinoblastoma cell family proteins and specific cell cycle inhibitors. This induced 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,” said author Antonio Giordano.

Although various tomato components have been studied for their ability to counteract tumor growth in experimental systems, few have analyzed the effects of tomatoes in their entirety.

“Their antitumoral effect seem not related to specific components, such as lycopene, but rather suggest that tomatoes should be considered in their entirety,” said author Daniela Barone.

Gastric cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer worldwide, and has one of the highest mortality indexes. Predisposing factors are E-cadherin mutations, Helicobacter pylori infection, and a diet heavy in salt and smoked foods with a low intake of fruits and vegetables.

In addition to consideration as a nutritional support, the authors noted that San Marzano and Corbarino tomato intake could also be examined as part of a diet for patients with cancer.

“This work stems from the SHRO research program performed through a longstanding collaboration with the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, and the Pascale Institute, CROM of Mercogliano,” Giordano said. “On the wake of these results Dr Attilio Bianchi, General Director of the Pascale Institute and CROM, and I teamed up to renew the collaboration with SHRO implementing the nutrigenomics studies for the benefit of cancer patients.”