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Pancreatic Cancer Research

in the peer-reviewed medical literature

None of the 700+ studies listed on this site can substitute for consulting a licensed naturopathic physician.  And none can be expected to function as stand-alone, at-home treatment.


It’s been shown that high dose intravenous vitamin C causes cytotoxicity and oxidation in pancreatic cells and none in normal cells.


Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2015;16(9):759-70.

Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer with Pharmacological Ascorbate.

Cieslak JA, Cullen JJ1.



Intravenous vitamin C may be used along with gemcitabine in the treatment plan of metastatic pancreatic cancer.


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;71(3):765-75. doi: 10.1007/s00280-013-2070-8. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Pharmacological ascorbate with gemcitabine for the control of metastatic and node-positive pancreatic cancer (PACMAN): results from a phase I clinical trial.

Welsh JL1, Wagner BA, van't Erve TJ, Zehr PS, Berg DJ, Halfdanarson TR, Yee NS, Bodeker KL, Du J, Roberts LJ 2nd, Drisko J, Levine M, Buettner GR, Cullen JJ.


Eucalyptus extract has shown anti-cancer activity and could be considered in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Pancreas.  Bhuyan DJ, Vuong QV, Chalmers AC, Bowyer MC, Scarlett CJ. An Array of Bioactive Compounds From Australian Eucalypts and Their Relevance in Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutics. 2018 Jul;47(6):690-707. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0000000000001074. Review. PubMed PMID: 29894418.


Hispidin, a substance found in the fern Pteris ensiformis shows antitumor effects against certain pancreatic cancer cells.


Anticancer Res.  Chandimali N, Huynh DL, Jin WY, Kwon T. Combination Effects of Hispidin and Gemcitabine via Inhibition of Stemness in Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells. 2018 Jul;38(7):3967-3975. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12683. PubMed PMID: 29970519.


Bitter melon juice shows potential as a treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Mol Carcinog.  Dhar D, Deep G, Kumar S, Wempe MF, Raina K, Agarwal C, Agarwal R. Bitter melon juice exerts its efficacy against pancreatic cancer via targeting both bulk and cancer stem cells. 2018 Sep;57(9):1166-1180. doi: 10.1002/mc.22833. Epub 2018 May 18. PubMed PMID: 29727019; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6118209.

Extract of the plant Pao Pereira inhibits the spread of pancreatic cancer cells and shows some toxicity to pancreatic cancer cells.


Integr Cancer Ther.  Dong R, Chen P, Chen Q. Extract of the Medicinal Plant Pao Pereira Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Stem-Like Cell In Vitro and In Vivo. 2018 Dec;17(4):1204-1215. doi: 10.1177/1534735418786027. Epub 2018 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 29985062; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6247539.

Eryngium Billardieri, a flowering plant, induces the death of pancreatic cancer cells.

Adv Pharm Bull.  Roshanravan N, Asgharian P, Dariushnejad H, Mesri Alamdari N, Mansoori B, Mohammadi A, Alipour S, Barati M, Ghavami A, Ghorbanzadeh V, Aamazadeh F, Ostadrahimi A. Eryngium Billardieri Induces Apoptosis via Bax Gene Expression in Pancreatic Cancer Cells. 2018 Nov;8(4):667-674. doi: 10.15171/apb.2018.075. Epub 2018 Nov 29. PubMed PMID: 30607339; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6311640.


Cannabinoids may be an effective adjunct for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, but research on this topic is limited.


J Pancreat Cancer.  Sharafi G, He H, Nikfarjam M. Potential Use of Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. 2019;5(1):1-7. doi: 10.1089/pancan.2018.0019. eCollection 2019. Review. PubMed PMID: 30706048; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6352507.


Compounds from olives are shown to be toxic towards cancer cells but possess limited toxicity towards normal tissue as opposed to most chemotherapy drugs which are highly toxic to both.


Int J Mol Sci.  Goldsmith CD, Bond DR, Jankowski H, Weidenhofer J, Stathopoulos CE, Roach PD, Scarlett CJ. The Olive Biophenols Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol Selectively Reduce Proliferation, Influence the Cell Cycle, and Induce Apoptosis in Pancreatic Cancer Cells. 2018 Jul 2;19(7). doi: 10.3390/ijms19071937. PubMed PMID: 30004416; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6073890.


Piperlongumine a natural product of the Long Pepper plant shows anti-tumor effects when used in conjunction with the drug gemcitabine in the treatment of Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Oncotarget.  Mohammad J, Dhillon H, Chikara S, Mamidi S, Sreedasyam A, Chittem K, Orr M, Wilkinson JC, Reindl KM. Piperlongumine potentiates the effects of gemcitabine in in vitro and in vivo human pancreatic cancer models.  2018 Feb 13;9(12):10457-10469. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23623. eCollection 2018 Feb 13. PubMed PMID: 29535819; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5828188.

Paramignya trimera root shows antitumor activity towards pancreatic cancer.

J Cancer Res Ther.   Nguyen VT, Scarlett CJ. Cytotoxic activity of extracts and fractions from Paramignya trimera root and Phyllanthus amarus against pancreatic cancer cell lines. 2019 Jan-Mar;15(1):245-249. doi: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_85_18. PubMed PMID: 30880785.

One hundred eighty-two pancreatic cancer patients were treated with Chinese herbal medicine; 21 patients died. The average survival of these patients were 29.6, respectively; the 1-year survival rate was 76%. These results are better than those reported in patients treated with Western medicine, suggesting the need for further study of CHM.

Integr Cancer Ther.  Wong W, Chen BZ, Lee AKY, Chan AHC, Wu JCY, Lin Z. Chinese Herbal Medicine Effectively Prolongs the Overall Survival of Pancreatic Cancer Patients: A Case Series. 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735419828836. doi: 10.1177/1534735419828836. PubMed PMID: 30791742; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6432679.


Yarrow and Marigold extracts can inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth


BMC Complement Altern Med  Mouhid L, Gómez de Cedrón M, Vargas T, García-Carrascosa E, Herranz N, García-Risco M, Reglero G, Fornari T, Ramírez de Molina A. Identification of antitumoral agents against human pancreatic cancer cells from Asteraceae and Lamiaceae plant extracts.. 2018 Sep 17;18(1):254. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2322-6. PubMed PMID: 30223811; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6142333.



Vitamin intake, particularly Vitamin D and B12, can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Medicine (Baltimore)   Liu Y, Wang X, Sun X, Lu S, Liu S. Vitamin intake and pancreatic cancer risk reduction: A meta-analysis of observational studies. . 2018 Mar;97(13):e0114. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010114. Review. PubMed PMID: 29595633; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5895396.

A molecule found in the roots of dwarf lilyturf (Ophiopogon japonicus) might slow the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. 


Int J Biol Macromol.   Gu D, Huang L, Chen X, Wu Q, Ding K. Structural characterization of a galactan from Ophiopogon japonicus and anti-pancreatic cancer activity of its acetylated derivative.2018 Jul 1;113:907-915. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.03.019. Epub 2018 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 29518447.


When combined with radiation treatment Moringa oleifera, a tree native to South Asia decreased the pancreatic cancer cell survival and significantly inhibited tumor growth.


Integr Cancer Ther.  Hagoel L, Vexler A, Kalich-Philosoph L, Earon G, Ron I, Shtabsky A, Marmor S, Lev-Ari S.Combined Effect of Moringa oleifera and Ionizing Radiation on Survival and Metastatic Activity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells. 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735419828829. doi: 10.1177/1534735419828829. PubMed PMID: 30862207; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6416749.


Extract from the plant Isodon eriocalyx has a synergistic effect when combined with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, inhibiting the ability of pancreatic cancer to grow.


Phytomedicine.  Li L, Zhao SL, Yue GGL, Wong TP, Pu JX, Sun HD, Fung KP, Leung PC, Han QB, Lau CBS, Leung PS. Isodon eriocalyx and its bioactive component Eriocalyxin B enhance cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer. 2018 May 15;44:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.03.055. Epub 2018 Mar 20. PubMed PMID: 29895493.


Extract from Mountain Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) is shown to be a potential medicine for treating pancreatic cancer.

Phytomedicine   Liu YH, Weng YP, Tsai HY, Chen CJ, Lee DY, Hsieh CL, Wu YC, Lin JY. Aqueous extracts of Paeonia suffruticosa modulates mitochondrial proteostasis by reactive oxygen species-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress in pancreatic cancer cells.. 2018 Jul 15;46:184-192. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.03.037. Epub 2018 Mar 27. PubMed PMID: 30097117.


Patients with pancreatic cancer may have a clinically relevant benefit from the inexpensive and well tolerated oral supplementation of L-Carnitine.


Nutr J. 2012 Jul 23;11:52. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-52.

L-Carnitine-supplementation in advanced pancreatic cancer (CARPAN)--a randomized multicentre trial.

Kraft M1, Kraft K, Gärtner S, Mayerle J, Simon P, Weber E, Schütte K, Stieler J, Koula-Jenik H, Holzhauer P, Gröber U, Engel G, Müller C, Feng YS, Aghdassi A, Nitsche C, Malfertheiner P, Patrzyk M, Kohlmann T, Lerch MMWei FX1, Liu JX, Wang L, Li HZ, Luo JB.


Feverfew can serve as a potential chemotherapeutic agent for pancreatic cancer.


Onco Targets Ther. 2017 Jan 23;10:453-461. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S117250. eCollection 2017.

Parthenolide suppresses pancreatic cell growth by autophagy-mediated apoptosis.

Liu W1, Wang X2, Sun J1, Yang Y1, Li W1, Song J1.

Chaga Mushroom extract could be an anticancer agent in human pancreatic cancer treatment.


Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2010 Nov;35(22):3056-9.

[Influence of betulinic acid on proliferation, migration, cell cycle and apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells].

[Article in Chinese]

Jiang M1, Zhou YYang MZhang RZou MCai GPan D.



Garlic-derived organosulfur compound induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells.

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan 7;20(1):193-203. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i1.193.

Apoptotic pathway induced by diallyl trisulfide in pancreatic cancer cells.

Ma HB1, Huang S1, Yin XR1, Zhang Y1, Di ZL1.

The potent antitumor capacity of BA suggested that it could be a promising new anticancer agent in human pancreatic cancer treatment.


Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2010 Nov;35(22):3056-9.

[Influence of betulinic acid on proliferation, migration, cell cycle and apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells].

[Article in Chinese]

Jiang M1, Zhou YYang MZhang RZou MCai GPan D.

These researchers from the University of Nebraska explored alternative treatments for pancreatic cancer and particularly, Ocimum sanctum leaves commonly known as holy basil. They were able to show the gene expressions that lead to rapid cell growth, movement and invasion were down regulated with holy basil extract. While at the same time genes that inhibit the spread of cancer and cause cell death were upregulated. This may point the way to novel anti-pancreatic cancer treatment.

Cancer Lett. 2013 Aug 19;336(2):270-80. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.03.017. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Holy Basil leaf extract decreases tumorigenicity and metastasis of aggressive human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo: potential role in therapy. Shimizu T1, Torres MPChakraborty SSouchek JJRachagani SKaur SMacha MGanti AKHauke RJBatra SK.


Study showed curcumin inhibits cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. Curcumin and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which protects against free radical damage were able to inhibit hydrogen peroxide, which these researches had previously demonstrated that moderate amounts promoted pancreatic cancer invasion. The combination also inhibited spread and invasion and suppressed negative gene expressions. In summary, Curcumin shows promise for its anti-pancreatic cancer effects.

Oncol Rep. 2016 Oct;36(4):2245-51. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.5044. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Curcumin inhibits H2O2-induced invasion and migration of human pancreatic cancer via suppression of the ERK/NF-κB pathway. Cao L1, Liu J2, Zhang L2, Xiao X1, Li W2.


Numerous studies have shown promise for curcumin for pancreatic cancer. The problem was bioavailability. New forms are now available that have solved this problem. Curcumin continues to look very promising.

Nutrients. 2016 Jul 16;8(7). pii: E433. doi: 10.3390/nu8070433. Curcumin AntiCancer Studies in Pancreatic Cancer.

Bimonte S1, Barbieri A2, Leongito M3, Piccirillo M4, Giudice A5, Pivonello C6, de Angelis C7, Granata V8, Palaia R9, Izzo F10.



A low oxygen environment is associated with cancer, rapid cell growth, and metastasis. In pancreatic cancer it is also related to a biological process of epithelial cells gone awry. Hypoxia makes radiation and chemotherapy less effective. This study specifically looks at Curcumin’s ability to suppress hypoxia-induced metastasis. The results are promising, and these researchers think it could also prevent cancer.

Oncol Rep. 2016 Jun;35(6):3728-34. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.4709. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Curcumin inhibits hypoxia-induced epithelial‑mesenchymal transition in pancreatic cancer cells via suppression of the hedgehog signaling pathway.

Cao L1, Xiao X1, Lei J2, Duan W2, Ma Q2, Li W2.


Those patients with advanced local or metastatic cancer treated with mistletoe did better on all 6 functional scales and 7 of 9 symptom scales. Mistletoe improved pain, fatigue, appetite loss, sleep, weight gain and more. The treated patients had 3 injections per week for up to one year. The mistletoe used was identical to Iscador Qu. Iscador is approved in Germany and many European countries as a stand-alone treatment and for use with conventional treatment. These researchers consider this a good second line of defense for patients not eligible for more traditional treatments. 

Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2014 Jul 21;111(29-30):493-502, 33 p following 502. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0493.

Quality of life of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer during treatment with mistletoe: a randomized controlled trial.

Tröger W1, Galun D2, Reif M3, Schumann A3, Stanković N4, Milićević M5.


Pao Pereira (Pao) is a natural product. This study investigated the effect of Pao alone and with the chemo drug Gemcitabine (gem) in vitro and in vivo. Pao alone induced cell death on all five pancreatic cancer cell lines tested. By adding Pao to Gem they were able to reduce the amount of Gem. The two created a synergistic effect. In a mouse model, “Gem did not cause significant inhibition.  Pao  suppressed tumor growth between 70-72% alone. “The combined treatment worked better than Gem alone.”

Oncol Rep. 2013 Jul;30(1):149-56.

Epub 2013 May 14.

Inhibition of pancreatic cancer and potentiation of gemcitabine effects by the extract of Pao Pereira.

Yu J1, Drisko JChen Q.


The molecular action of Triphala, a natural Ayervedic treatment, is explored against pancreatic cancer. Cellular and in vivo models were explored. These pre-clinical trials showed Triphala inhibited cancer cell growth in both models. Researchers think Triphala caused the activation of a cell signaling pathway and a specific gene to bring about this change.   

BMC Cancer. 2008 Oct 10;8:294. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-294.

Triphala inhibits both in vitro and in vivo xenograft growth of pancreatic tumor cells by inducing apoptosis.  Shi Y1, Sahu RPSrivastava SK.

An extract from Antrodia camphorata, a fungus growing in Taiwan with known medicinal properties, inhibits cell migration and results in cell death in the BxPC-3 pancreatic cell line. The three major components of this plant were analyzed in this study and found to be effective against human pancreatic cells.

Food Funct. 2014 Dec;5(12):3224-32. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00720d.

Anticancer effects on human pancreatic cancer cells of triterpenoids, polysaccharides and 1,3-β-D-glucan derived from the fruiting body of Antrodia camphorata.

Lee CI1, Wu CCHsieh SLLee CLChang YPChang CCWang YZWang JJ.


Antroquinonol is derived from the camphor tree mushroom. This study looked at its effects against the PANC-1 and AsPC-1 pancreatic cell lines. It showed several positive effects. For example it interrupted the cell cycle leading to cell death. 

J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Aug;23(8):900-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.04.015. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Antroquinonol, a natural ubiquinone derivative, induces a cross talk between apoptosis, autophagy and senescence in human pancreatic carcinoma cells.

Yu CC1, Chiang PCLu PHKuo MTWen WCChen PGuh JH



MMH01 comes from a fungus species of the Bull Camphor tree in Taiwan. This study looked at a   compound isolated from antrodia cinnanomea and its effects on Leukemia U937 and Pancreatic BxPC3 cells. It inhabited cancer cell   growth and cell death for both these cancer.

Toxicol In Vitro. 2009 Apr;23(3):418-24. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Compound MMH01 possesses toxicity against human leukemia and pancreatic cancer cells.

Chen YJ1, Chou CJChang TT.


Various parts of the Burdock plant have different healing properties. Some of the seeds    are anti-inflammatory. This is important for all chronic diseases including cancer. The seeds      also have “potent inhibitory effects” on pancreatic carcinoma. It is considered a healthy and nutritious food in Chinese culture. It has been used therapeutically in Europe, North America and Asia for thousands of years.  Burdock is a member of the daisy family, so some people might have an allergic reaction.  

Inflammopharmacology. 2011     Oct;19(5):245-54. doi: 10.1007/s10787-010- 0062-4. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

A review of the pharmacological effects of Arctium lappa (burdock).

Chan YS1, Cheng LNWu JHChan EKwan   YWLee SMLeung GPYu PHChan SW.


This study evaluated the anti-cancer effects of Spirulina  platensis on “several human    pancreatic cell lines and xenotransplanted nude mice” in an experimental model. S. platensis     significantly decreased the spread of pancreatic cell lines in vitro in a dose-dependent way. It      decreased the spread of cancer cells by the third day of treatment in vivo. It played a    chemopreventive role in this experiment, meaning it could inhibit or reverse pancreatic        cancer. 

Ann Hepatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;13(2):273-83.

Anti-cancer effects of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis, a natural source of bilirubin-like         tetrapyrrolic compounds.

Koníčková R1, Vaňková K1, Vaníková J1, Váňová K1, Muchová L1, Subhanová I1, Zadinová       M2, Zelenka J3, Dvořák A1, Kolář M4, Strnad H4, Rimpelová S5, Ruml T5, J Wong R6, Vítek L7.


Emodin from the root of Rheum palmatum L (Indian Rhubarb Root) is the main effective compound in many Chinese plants and herbs. It has an anti-cancer effect on several types of cancers.       

Oncol Rep. 2011 Jul;26(1):81-9. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1257. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects of emodin on human pancreatic cancer.

Liu A1, Chen HWei WYe SLiao WGong JJiang ZWang LLin S.


This study primarily looks at natural products as adjunctive treatment for various chemo treatments. Far into the study is a section showing pharmaceutical studies of combinations of natural products.

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:8412508. doi: 0.1155/2017/8412508. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Natural Products as Adjunctive Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer: Recent Trends and Advancements.

Yue Q1, Gao G2, Zou G3, Yu H4, Zheng X5.


It may not be stevioside that is responsible for stopping the rapid cell division in Stevia rebaudiana ethonolic extract, but other compounds in the extract. The extract scavenges free radicals, but again not because of stevioside. The extract induced cell death in cervix, pancreatic and colon cancer cells. Its best effect was on cervical cancer.

Food Funct. 2016 Apr;7(4):2107-13. doi:  10.1039/c5fo01586c.

Stevia rebaudiana ethanolic extract exerts better antioxidant properties and antiproliferative effects in tumour cells than its diterpene glycoside stevioside.

Yue Q1, Gao G2, Zou G3, Yu H4, Zheng X5.


Pre-clinical and clinical studies show vitamins A, C, D, E and K have promising effects on pancreatic cancer. The researchers think trials are needed.

Adv Nutr. 2015 Nov 13;6(6):774-802. doi:  10.3945/an.115.009456. Print 2015 Nov.

Vitamins in pancreatic cancer: a review of underlying mechanisms and future applications.

Davis-Yadley AH1, Malafa MP2.


Non-toxic Vitamin K can inhibit pancreatic cells alone or in combination with chemotherapy in cell lines MiaPaCa2 and PL5.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Apr;25(4):738-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06085.x. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Naturally occurring K vitamins inhibit pancreatic cancer cell survival through a caspase-dependent pathway.

Showalter SL1, Wang ZCostantino CLWitkiewicz AKYeo CJBrody JRCarr BI.

Graviola induced necrosis of pancreatic cells. “Compounds naturally present in Graviola inhibited multiple signaling pathways that regulate metabolism, cell cycle, survival and metastic properties in pancreatic cells.”

Cancer Lett. 2012 Oct 1;323(1):29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.03.031. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Graviola: a novel promising natural-derived drug that inhibits tumorigenicity and metastasis       of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo through altering cell metabolism.

Torres MP1, Rachagani SPurohit VPandey PJoshi SMoore EDJohansson SLSingh       PKGanti AKBatra SK.


Fucoidans from brown algae have antioxidant, anti-cancer, and angiogenic potential for pancreatic cancer.

Int J Biol Macromol. 2015 Mar;74:447-57. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.12.031. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Fucoidan from Turbinaria conoides: a multifaceted 'deliverable' to combat pancreatic cancer progression.

Delma CR1, Somasundaram ST2, Srinivasan GP2, Khursheed M3, Bashyam MD3, Aravindan N4.


a-Mangostin is a natural product derived from a fruit. When used to treat pancreatic cancer the result was loss of cell viability and increased cell death. It significantly reduced the movement and invasion of pancreatic cells. Researchers suggested it showed potential for novel adjunctive therapy or alternative medicine for pancreatic cancer.

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:546353. doi: 10.1155/2014/546353. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

α-Mangostin suppresses the viability and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of pancreatic cancer cells by downregulating the PI3K/Akt pathway.

Xu Q1, Ma J2, Lei J1, Duan W1, Sheng L1, Chen X1, Hu A1, Wang Z1, Wu Z1, Wu E3, Ma Q1, Li X4.

Digalloylresveratrol (DIG) combines the effects of the natural polyphenolic compounds gallic acid and resveratrol, which both are excellent free radical scavengers with anticancer activity. This study specifically focuses on DIG and pancreatic cancer. 


Invest New Drugs. 2013. Digalloylresveratrol, a novel resveratrol analog inhibits the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells. Saiko P, et al.

Grape seed extract was tested on the MIA PACA-2 cell line. It slowed cell growth and increased cell death. Gallic acid was the component in the extract responsible for these effects.

Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(1):88-96. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.851714. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Gallic acid is an active component for the anticarcinogenic action of grape seed procyanidins in pancreatic cancer cells.

Cedó L1, Castell-Auví APallarès VMacià ABlay MArdévol AMotilva MJPinent M.


Researchers studied the effect of resveratrol on epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which is often a cause of pancreatic metastasis. Resveratrol kept cells from rapidly reproducing, inhibited both cell movement and invasion all in a dose-dependent manner. Plus it intervened in the expression of EMT-related genes and more.

Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(33):4185-94.

Resveratrol inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of pancreatic cancer cells via suppression of the PI-3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway.

Li W1, Ma JMa QLi BHan LLiu JXu QDuan WYu SWang FWu E.


Four components of brussel sprouts are known to activate an enzyme detoxification process. These components were tested individually and in various strengths together keeping the same proportions found in the vegetable. The purpose was to determine if one of the components was more effective than the others. Crambene was found to be most effective ingredient in Brussel sprouts. The conclusion was a diet with a strong component of cruriferous vegetables may activate detoxification in pancreatic cancer patients.

Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 May;36(5):365-73.

Induction of rat pancreatic glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase activities by a mixture of glucosinolate breakdown derivatives found in Brussels sprouts.

Wallig MA1, Kingston SStaack RJefferey EH.


Pterostilbene is a natural chemical in blueberries similar chemically to resveratrol found in grapes. Both have been shown to have anti-cancer effects, but Pterostilbene is more bioavailable. However, it had not previously tested on pancreatic cancer cells. This study looks at its effect on MIA PaCa and PANC-1 cell lines. Results were impressive on both cell lines. The study showed multiple positive effects against pancreatic cancer cells.   

J Gastrointest Surg. 2010 May;14(5):873-9. doi: 10.1007/s11605-010-1164-4. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Pterostilbene inhibits pancreatic cancer in vitro.

Mannal PW1, Alosi JASchneider JGMcDonald DEMcFadden DW


Resveratrol kept cancer cells from multiplying and induced cell death in PANC-1 and AsPc-1 pancreatic cells.

Pancreas. 2002 Nov;25(4):e71-6.

Resveratrol inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells.

Ding XZ1, Adrian TE.


The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective way to prepare essential oil from Boswellia or Frankincense. The most effective product was derived from a higher temperature hydrodistillation and longer extraction process. Prepared this way, Frankincense killed pancreatic cancer cells.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Dec 13;12:253. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-253.

Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model.

Ni X1, Suhail MMYang QCao AFung KMPostier RGWoolley CYoung GZhang JLin HK.


An acid from a Boswellian plant (abbreviated AKBA) was tested against human pancreatic cells. AKBA inhibited cell growth in four pancreatic cell lines. It induced cell death. It increased the effectiveness of gemcitabine. It inhibited metastasis to spleen, liver and lungs. Additionally, it regulated gene expression. It was tested in a mouse model.

PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26943. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026943. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Boswellic acid suppresses growth and metastasis of human pancreatic tumors in an orthotopic nude mouse model through modulation of multiple targets.

Park B1, Prasad SYadav VSung BAggarwal BB.


Apigenin, a flavonoid in citrus fruit, effective on BxPC-3 and PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Dec;57(12):2112-27. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300307. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Flavonoid apigenin modified gene expression associated with inflammation and cancer and induced apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells through inhibition of GSK-3β/NF-κB signaling cascade.

Johnson JL1, de Mejia EG.


Rosemary and its extracts have been reported effective against cancer. Studies however were needed. Researchers found two compounds (carnosic acid and carnosol) in rosemary worked together better than alone. They felt this supported the use of rosemary extract as a whole.

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 3;9(6):e98556. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098556. eCollection 2014.

Expression of microRNA-15b and the glycosyltransferase GCNT3 correlates with antitumor efficacy of Rosemary diterpenes in colon and pancreatic cancer.

González-Vallinas M1, Molina S1, Vicente G2, Zarza V1, Martín-Hernández R1, García-Risco MR2, Fornari T2, Reglero G3, Ramírez de Molina A1.

Pancreatic cancer patients with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency need to consume antioxidants, micronutrients, and be treated with pancreatic enzymes.

Nutrients. 2017 Feb 23;9(3). pii: E183. doi: 10.3390/nu9030183.

Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency in Pancreatic Cancer.

Vujasinovic M1, Valente R2, Del Chiaro M3, Permert J4, Löhr JM5.


There is a cost of $95.00 to get this article, but it summarizes how photochemicals have the ability to target cancer stem cells (CSC) and their pathways. They explain that cancer stems cells are highly resistant to traditional therapies and cause “recurrence and metastasis.” They also mention the following photochemicals that target CSC “including curcumin, resveratrol, tea polyphenol EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), crocetinic acid, sulforaphane, genistein, indole-3-carbinol, vitamin E δ-tocotrienol, Plumbagin, quercetin, triptolide, Licofelene and Quinomycin.”  They believe “these natural compounds or phytochemicals, which inhibit CSC may prove promising agents for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancers.”

Curr Med Chem. 2017 Jan 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Targeting cancer stem cells for chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer.

Subramaniam DKaushik GDandawate PAnant S1.



An active compound in garlic (abbreviated as SPRC) is effective on pancreatic cancer in these studies. It reduced cell viability and colony formation. It inhibited cell growth. It induced a particular type of cell arrest. Cell death was seen. And, it regulated a specific protein level.

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2015;15(7):613-23.

The JNK Signaling Pathway Is a Novel Molecular Target for S-Propargyl- L-Cysteine, a Naturally-Occurring Garlic Derivatives: Link to Its Anticancer Activity in Pancreatic Cancer In Vitro and In Vivo.

Wang WCheng JZhu Y1.


Positive effects were seen on AsPC-1, PANC-1 and MisPaca-2 pancreatic cancer cells when tested with garlic oil. It inhibited cell growth with 24 hours. Greater effect was seen by 48 hours. When concentrations were increased cell death occurred on AsPC-1.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(10):5905-10.

Effects of garlic oil on pancreatic cancer cells.

Lan X1, Sun HLiu JLin YZhu ZHan XSun XLi XZhang HTang Z.


“Arctigenin has previously been identified as a potential anti-tumor treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.” How it worked was not understood. This study looks at arctigenin, a plant lignin, in relationship to “Panc-1, with special emphasis on mitochondria.” Mitochondria are like “power generators” of cells. They make use of oxygen and nutrients and convert them into something that controls the cells metabolism. In this study, “arctigenin only killed OXPHOS-dependent cancer cells.” The end of the summary gives a technical explanation of how.

Toxicol In Vitro. 2017 Apr;40:55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2016.12.001. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Mechanistic insights into selective killing of OXPHOS-dependent cancer cells by arctigenin.

Brecht K1, Riebel V2, Couttet P2, Paech F1, Wolf A2, Chibout SD2, Pognan F2, Krähenbühl S1, Uteng M3.


Herbal extract of three oriental herbs (H3) was tested on PANC-1 cell line of pancreatic cancer. It promoted cell arrest 11% where gemcitabine had no effect. H3 increased cell death 9% where gemcitabine had no effect. H3 decreased stem cyclic population 4% compared with 3% for gemcitabine. H3 decreased migration of cancer cells 24% compared with 11% for gemcitabine. “H3 suppressed tumor growth 46% in PANC-1 xenograft model. Gemcitabine caused a 36% decrease.” The researchers don’t say what the combined therapeutic effect of H3 and gemcitabine were except that it was higher than the control, which presumably was gemcitabine used alone.

Oncol Rep. 2016 Nov;36(5):2875-2883. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.5067. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

Antitumor effects of herbal mixture extract in the pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line PANC1.

Pak PJ1, Kang BH1, Park SH2, Sung JH2, Joo YH1, Jung SH3, Chung N1.



“Artemisinin can induce apoptosis in the RIN cells via the generation of ROS and triggering the intrinsic pathway of cell death.” ROS stands for “intercellular reactive oxygen species mediated apoptosis.” Artemisinin is derived from the woodworm plant.

Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug;20(8):618-23. doi: 10.1007/s11655-013-1454-2. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Artemisinin as a Chinese medicine, selectively induces apoptosis in pancreatic tumor cell line.

Noori S1, Hassan ZMFarsam V.


This study discusses many natural and synthenic chemopreventive agents for pancreatic cancer. The researchers state the agents with the strongest evidence for treating pancreatic cancer are curcumin and Vitamin D. They further stated clinical trials for chemopreventive agents for other major cancers might provide direction in designing chemoprotective trials for pancreatic cancer.

Risk reduction strategies are stop smoking, lose weight, eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and get regular exercise.

Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Jun; 7(6): 347–356. Published online 2010 May 4. doi:  10.1038/nrgastro.2010.61

Chemoprevention strategies for pancreatic cancer

Silvia D. StanShivendra V. Singh, and Randall E. Brand

Combining natural remedies, including curcumin and mistletoe, with chemotherapy helped increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy as well as reduce the negative effects of the chemotherapy in two cases of pancreatic cancer.


Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Feb 1:1534735418755479. doi: 10.1177/1534735418755479. [Epub ahead of print]

Integrated Cancer Treatment in the Course of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer: Complete Resolution in 2 Cases.

Bonucci MPastore CFerrera VFiorentini CFabbri A.


Toosendanin, an active component in Chinese traditional medicine, can attenuate pancreatic cancer progression.


Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Nov 4;493(1):455-460. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.08.170. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

A natural product toosendanin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumor growth in pancreatic cancer via deactivating Akt/mTOR signaling.

Pei ZFu WWang G.


Sulforaphane (SFN), an herbal isothiocyanate enriched in cruciferous vegetables, in combination with irradiation exerts more damage and growth inhibition in pancreatic cancer than either treatment alone.


PLoS One. 2017 Jul 10;12(7):e0180940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180940. eCollection 2017.

Sulforaphane enhances irradiation effects in terms of perturbed cell cycle progression and increased DNA damage in pancreatic cancer cells.

Naumann PLiermann JFortunato FSchmid TEWeber KJDebus JCombs SE.

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