Novel crocetin compound prevents, treats pancreatic cancer
An extracted form of purified crocetinic acid from saffron has demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity against pancreatic cancer cells in a mouse model with low toxicity.
Saffron, a spice and a food colorant present in the dry stigmas of the plant Crocus sativus L., was used as an herbal remedy for cancer by several ancient cultures. Crocetin, an important carotenoid constituent of saffron, has been identified as the main driver of saffron’s anti-tumor activity.
In addition to pancreatic cancer, crocetin has demonstrated anti-oncolytic activity in breast, lung, cervical, leukemia, colorectal, liver, and skin cancers. It can be used both as an adjuvant therapeutic to conventional chemotherapeutic agents and alone as a chemopreventive agent.
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with the lowest five-year survival rate—less than 5%—of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. There are very few therapeutic options available.