A team of Spanish scientists has discovered a natural substance in the salt pans of Santa Pola (Alicante) that has anticarcinogenic abilities and, in particular, able to prevent breast cancer, In particular, it has been the Applied Biochemistry Research Group of the University of Alicante, in collaboration with researchers from the Doctor Balmis General University Hospital of Alicante and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Research of Alicante (Isabiel), who have identified its potential. The pigment present in the salt mines, where this “spice” is obtained and processed, after the salt water evaporates.
It is a pigment produced by certain microorganisms, ‘halophilic archaea’, in the order protect yourself from the sun Its antitumor potential has been tested in different types of breast cancer, according to this Spanish discovery, which has been published in the prestigious journal Nature Scientific Reports, indicated in a statement by the academic institute.
Rosa Maria Martinez, professor of biology and director of the UA research group, elaborates that this “significant discovery” began with the development of Micaela Giani’s doctoral thesis. In this, already the doctor demonstrated through ‘in vitro’ testing the antioxidant activity of the pigment and its effect on enzymes (biocatalysts), which are caught in diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
“After publishing these results, it was then that we considered what would happen if we added pigments to cancer cells based on the hypothesis that, with pigments being Approximately 300 times more antioxidant activity For other antioxidants, this may limit the ability of these cells to grow and reproduce”, elaborated the researcher.
In this second phase, the research team Dr. Gloria Piro Pathologist at the Doctor Balmis University General Hospital in Alicante and professor at the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Alicante, and Yoel Genaro Montoyo-Pujol PhD in Experimental and Biosanitary Sciences and is also a researcher at UA, both belonging to Isabel’s Breast Cancer and Immunology Research Group.
With this collaboration, the researchers were able to verify ‘in vitro’ the effects of this pigment in different representative cell lines Intrinsic phenotype of breast cancer and a line of healthy breast tissue.
Limits the growth of malignant cells
“We have come to the conclusion that, at certain doses, the pigment No harmful effect on healthy cells But this limits the growth potential of the neoplastic cells”, Martinez highlighted.
Similarly, he added that the discovery “opens a door for biomedicine, as a basis for the design of new strategies to fight against cancer”. use of natural compounds which are not harmful to the body”.
Las Halophilic archaea are extreme microorganisms They require hypersaline environments to thrive, so they are mainly found in coastal salt flats, inland salt flats or hyper-salt lakes. These microorganisms synthesize a rare C50 carotenoid pigment called bacterioruberin (BR) and its derivatives monoanhydrobacterioruberin (MABR) and biscenhydrobacterioruberin (BABR).
From this discovery, there are several steps that must be developed, beginning with Extend study with cell lines isolated from other tumor types, to continue testing on tissue samples from biopsies or surgical pieces. The aim, as stated by the researcher, is to design possible treatment protocols using this pigment and then proceed to animal studies, before arriving at its clinical use in patients.