Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Researchers from the University Of Missouri-Columbia, United States explained that one of the most common treatments for cervical cancer is radiation therapy and that it not only destroys the cancer cells, but also the nearby healthy cells, which proves to be a hazard.
“For some cancers, such as late-stage cervical cancer, radiation is a good treatment option. However, collateral damage to healthy cells always occurs. Based on previous research, we studied blueberry extract to verify it could be used as a radiosensitiser,” Fang said. Radiosensitisers are non-toxic chemicals that make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy. Previously, the team showed that resveratrol, a compound in red grapes, could be used as a radiosensitiser for treating prostate cancer. Blueberries also contain resveratrol.
In addition to resveratrol, the blueberries also contain flavonoids – chemicals that may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, they explained. The team used human cervical cancer cell lines to mimic clinical treatment. The cell lines were divided into four groups -a control group, a group that received only radiation, a group that received only blueberry extract and a group that received both radiation and the extract.