Suppression of pro-inflammatory and pro-survival biomarkers in oral cancer patients consuming a black raspberry phytochemical-rich troche.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015 Dec 23. Epub 2015 Dec 23. PMID: 26701664
Thomas J Knobloch
Black raspberries (BRBs) demonstrate potent inhibition of aerodigestive tract carcinogenesis in animal models. However, translational clinical trials evaluating the ability of BRB phytochemicals to impact molecular biomarkers in the oral mucosa remain limited. The present phase 0 study addresses a fundamental question for oral cancer food-based prevention: Do BRB phytochemicals successfully reach the targeted oral tissues and reduce pro-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic gene expression profiles? Patients with biopsy-confirmed oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) administered oral troches containing freeze-dried BRB powder from the time of enrollment to the date of curative intent surgery (13.9±1.27 days). Transcriptional biomarkers were evaluated in patient-matched OSCCs and non-involved high at-risk mucosa (HARM) for BRB-associated changes. Significant expression differences between baseline OSCC and HARM tissues were confirmed using a panel of genes commonly deregulated during oral carcinogenesis. Following BRB troche administration, the expression of pro-survival genes (AURKA, BIRC5, EGFR) and pro-inflammatory genes (NFKB1, PTGS2) were significantly reduced. There were no BRB-associated Grade 3-4 toxicities or adverse events and 79.2% (N=30) of patients successfully completed the study with high levels of compliance (97.2%). The BRB phytochemicals cyanidin-3-rutinoside and cyanidin-3-xylosylrutinoside were detected in all OSCC tissues analyzed, demonstrating that bioactive components were successfully reaching targeted OSCC tissues. We confirmed that hallmark anti-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory molecular biomarkers were over-expressed in OSCCs and that their gene expression was significantly reduced following BRB troche administration. Since these molecular biomarkers are fundamental to oral carcinogenesis and are modifiable, they may represent emerging biomarkers of molecular efficacy for BRB-mediated oral cancer chemoprevention.