Pineapple Extract Enhances Chemo Effectiveness on Mesothelioma Cells

Treatment & Doctors
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 01/10/2014
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Povtak, T. (2020, October 16). Pineapple Extract Enhances Chemo Effectiveness on Mesothelioma Cells. Asbestos.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2014/01/10/pineapple-enzyme-chemotherapy/

MLA

Povtak, Tim. "Pineapple Extract Enhances Chemo Effectiveness on Mesothelioma Cells." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2014/01/10/pineapple-enzyme-chemotherapy/.

Chicago

Povtak, Tim. "Pineapple Extract Enhances Chemo Effectiveness on Mesothelioma Cells." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2014/01/10/pineapple-enzyme-chemotherapy/.

A future cancer treatment may have emerged with the recent discovery that bromelain, a pineapple extract, can improve the effectiveness of cisplatin
chemotherapy on peritoneal mesothelioma tumor cells.

Bromelain is an enzyme found in the stem and the juice of a pineapple. It has been part of the natural, alternative medicine culture for many years, dating back centuries in Central and South
America.

The pineapple enzyme may be close to moving into the realm of more conventional medicine in a very significant way, thanks to recent, groundbreaking
research at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

“This is a treatment combination that is really dramatic, and likely to alter the efficacy of chemotherapy in many types of cancer,” Professor David
Morris, UNSW Department of Surgery, told Asbestos.com. “It has been exciting to see.”

Searching for Answers

The lack of effective treatment options for all types of mesothelioma continues to frustrate medical professionals trying to treat the rare, but aggressive
cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

Standard treatment today includes a chemotherapy regimen that typically involves cisplatin or pemetrexed, although it comes with difficult side effects and
works inconsistently. The majority of mesothelioma patients live less than 18 months after diagnosis, even with the best care.

Bromelain might change that prognosis in the future.

Although previous studies have shown that bromelain can suppress breast and pancreatic cancer cells, this was the first one published on its ability to
enhance cisplatin therapy with mesothelioma cells.

Morris believes the laboratory findings were so significant that they quickly will move into the clinical trial phase. Animal safety testing already has been done.

“If it’s not within the next year, I’ll be very disappointed,” he said.

He also expressed the desire to study the effect on pleural mesothelioma – the more prevalent, more difficult type to treat. Pleural involves the thin
lining around the lungs. Peritoneal involves the abdominal cavity.

“Whether we can get the same results in the chest, for pleural mesothelioma, is clearly one of the really big unanswered questions at the moment,” Morris
said. “It’s something we plan to pursue.”

Bromelain Combination Should Prevent Spread of Cancer

The research focused on the ability of the bromelain enzyme to break down the protein MUC-1 in mesothelioma cell lines through a chemical decomposition
process. The MUC-1 protein is what helps the cancer cells metastasize and allows it to resist the toxicity of chemotherapy.

The cell lines were treated with various concentrations of bromelain with cisplatin and assessed after both four and 72 hours. Bromelain also was used with
5-fluorouracil (5-FU), another treatment drug. The Bromelain did little to help the 5-FU, but it
significantly increased the toxicity of the cisplatin on the tumor cells.

Although it still lacks definitive, scientific evidence, bromelain has been used for years as a natural anti-inflammatory. Researchers recently have been
uncovering several cancer-killing mechanisms within the enzyme, and clinical trials in Europe involving breast and colon cancer patients have met mixed
results.

The website for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has information on
bromelain within its Integrative Medicine section. Among the “purported uses,” are treating arthritis, treating burns of the skin, preventing and treating
cancer, treating circulatory disorders and reducing swelling and edema.

Under each purported use is a disclaimer stating either that clinical trials have not been done, or that there has not been official confirmation of its
worthiness.

Bromelain currently is regulated by the FDA as a dietary supplement. It may be on the verge of becoming significantly more important.

“Quite remarkably, we just don’t have good chemotherapy drugs now for mesothelioma,” Morris said. “It is likely this will at least get us a second-line
drug. I’ll be disappointed if this doesn’t turn out much better than that.”

Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide