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Breast Cancer

According to statistics, an alarming one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. However, even if it has spread to regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is still quite high at over 83%, and that rate reaches over 98% if diagnosed and treated while still confined to the breast (when the majority of most cases are caught).50

For those breast cancer patients who require chemotherapy, anthracycline antibiotic doxorubicin (Adriamycin®) is one type of effective chemotherapy often utilized. However, its use is severely limited by cumulative toxicities, particularly to the heart, and other side effects. Animal studies suggest that quercetin effectively suppresses breast tumor growth, and further studies demonstrated that quercetin enhanced the therapeutic effects of Adriamycin® while suppressing its toxic effects on normal cells.51

One way that quercetin seems to inhibit breast cancer cell growth is by promoting the production of a certain type of estrogen receptor site which it then binds to, blocking growth signals. This suggests that other types of cancers with these same sites, such as leukemia and melanoma, may also benefit from quercetin.52

Since Adriamycin® is also used to treat a large number of other cancers, including thyroid cancer, acute leukemias, and sarcomas, quercetin could possibly be used in conjunction with this chemotherapy drug to improve outcomes for these cancers as well.53

 
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