Research on pineapples' cancer-fighting enzymes bears fruit

September 6, 2005

Queensland, Australia -- Two enzymes found in the extract of crushed pineapple stems show promise in fighting cancer growth.

Queensland, Australia -- Two enzymes found in the extract of crushed pineapple stems show promise in fighting cancer growth.

Researchers at Australia's Queensland Institute of Medical Research report they have found that pineapple-stem extract contains CCS and CCZ, protease enzymes usually associated with breaking down proteins, as in the digestive process, but which the Queensland researchers say appear to have the ability to block growth of a range of cancer cells, including melanoma and those that cause cancer of the breast, lung, colon, ovaries and melanoma. They report that CCS blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in approximately 30 percent of all cancers, and that CCZ stimulates the body's immune system to target and kill cancer cells.

According to researcher Tracey Mynott, M.D., this is the first time this class of enzymes has been shown to have a specific effect on the immune system.