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  • Radiologic Technology News

Berry Boosts Effectiveness of Radiation Therapy for Cervical Cancer

Jan 11, 2018

In the treatment of cervical cancer with radiation, researchers say blueberries can boost the therapy’s effectiveness. Published by Pathology & Oncology Research, the University of Missouri School of Medicine study found that combining radiation therapy with blueberry extract led to a 70% reduction in the number of human cervical cancer cells.

“For some cancers, such as late-stage cervical cancer, radiation is a good treatment option,” Yujiang Fang, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study, said in a news release. “Based on previous research, we studied blueberry extract to verify it could be used as a radiosensitizer." Radiosensitizers are nontoxic chemicals that make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy.

“Our team used three different measures to confirm results of the study,” Fang said. “Radiation decreased cancer cells by approximately 20%. Interestingly, the cell group that received only blueberry extract had a 25% decrease in cancer. However, the biggest decline in cancer cells occurred in the radiation and extract group, with a decrease of about 70%"

Fang says an animal study is planned to help confirm results of the research. Approximately 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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