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Garlic and Onion Chemical Helps Kill Cancer Cells

August 8, 2005
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Allicin is the product of an interaction between an enzyme, allinase, and the small chemical alliin. The latter compound occurs naturally in plants, such as garlic and onion, as a defense mechanism against soil fungi, bacteria, and parasites.

“The medicinal value of garlic is no longer an ancient Chinese secret,” said Mirelman. “Years of scientific research led to the identification and understanding of allicin’s mode of activity, and we are currently studying ways to target and deliver its toxic punch.”

Although other approaches use a method that directly binds anticancer drug molecules to an antibody, this study applied a method Mirelman refers to as “weaponizing” the antibody, so called because it affords the continuous production and delivery of cancer-killing “bullets.”

The allinase that is bonded to the Rituximaba, a specific antibody, sits on the target cell and continuously reacts with alliin molecules that are injected at intervals, producing a steady supply of allicin to penetrate and kill the cancer. The study was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

For further information, please contact Weizmann Institute of Science, P.O. Box 26, Rehovot 76100, Israel Tel: 972-8-934-2111; FAX: 972-8-934-4107 E-mail: david.mirelman@weizmann.ac.il Web site:

http://www.weizmann.ac.il

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