Interesting research on the metal Zinc and Pancreatic cancer. The essential metal zinc has been shown to be low in the pancreatic cancer cells of pancreatic cancer patients. This finding of a low zinc level was published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy in August 2011 in a research study by lead author,Leslie Costello, PhD a professor at the University of Maryland.
The researchers measured markedly lower levels of zinc in human pancreas tissue that had in it adenocarcinoma the most common form of pancreatic cancer. The zinc level in the cancer cells were lower no matter what stage and were compared with normal pancreas cell levels of zinc.
The researchers will look at a potential treatment of getting zinc into the pancreatic cancer cells which may destroy the pancreatic cancer cells.
The scientists further uncovered an important genetic factor that may eventually play into developing an early diagnostic tool. Malignant cells shut down a zinc transporting molecule called ZIP3, which is responsible for guiding zinc through the cell membrane and into the cells.
In essence, the researchers have discovered an early genetic/metabolic change in the development of pancreatic cancer. Cancer researchers previously did not know that the ZIP3 gene expression is lost in malignant pancreatic cells, resulting in lower zinc.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the
United States, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). There are
about 42,000 new cases annually in the United States, of which the NCI
estimates 35,000 will die.
Because Zinc is a popular homeopathic medicine, Zincum metallicum ,which has traditionally been used when discharges or rashes have been suppressed, I checked the homeopathic literature for relations to the pancreas. The homeopathic literature on Zinc has many symptoms of heartburn, indigestion , burning in the stomach, nausea vomiting and hiccough. What is further needed in clinical research is looking for suppression of symptoms. When taking the history of a patient with adenocarcinoma of pancreas we can ask if any discharges or rashes had been suppressed with antihistamines, cortisone products, decongestants and even antibiotics. Maybe this suppression turned off the ZIP3 gene expression? How can the Zip3 gene be turned back on so pancreatic cells can process zinc? Would Zincum metallicum 12 C change the Zip3 gene?
I welcome your comments. Jacquelyn Wilson, MD , DABIHM