Cancer

The Cancer Research Laboratory studies how natural compounds and dietary products affect the growth, invasivness, and metastatic behavior of cancer cells at the molecular level. Because the inhibition of invasive behavior in cancer cells can result in the suppression of cancer progression and metastasis, dietary interventions might help in the prevention and nutritional treatment of cancer.

We have recently demonstrated that extracts from Asian medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum suppressed cancer cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and invasiveness by inhibiting the expression of specific target genes, and the combination of G. lucidum with green tea extract further suppressed the invasive behavior of breast cancer cells. We have also demonstrated that an extract from the medicinal mushroom, Phellinus linteus, inhibited proliferation of breast cancer cells and suppressed angiogenesis through a unique molecular mechanism. Finally, we have identified an edible oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) which suppressed the growth of cancer cells by down-regulating the expression of specific genes in breast and colon cancers.

The Cancer Research Laboratory collaborates with IUPUI in the chemical synthesis of the biologically active triterpenes from the mushroom, G. lucidum, and we are also evaluating the bioavailability of these compounds in animals in collaboration with the Discovery Park at Purdue University. In addition to the laboratory research projects, the members of the Cancer Research Laboratory actively participate in supervising college summer students in MRI and IU Summer Student Research Programs.