https://neurosciencenews.com/peanut-cancer-spread-19084/

Frequent Peanut Consumption May Increase Cancer Spread in Patients
Brain CancerFeaturedNeuroscience·August 8, 2021
Summary: A new study reports cancer patients who frequently eat peanuts may be at increased risk of their cancer spreading. Researchers found Peanut agglutinin (PNA), a carbohydrate-binding protein that enters blood circulation after a peanut is eaten, interacts with endothelial cells to produce cytokines. Some of the cytokines are recognized promoters of cancer metastasis.

Source: University of Liverpool

A study by University of Liverpool researchers has identified new factors accompanying previous findings that frequent consumption of peanuts by cancer patients could increase risk of cancer spread.

The study, published in Carcinogenesis, shows that Peanut agglutinin (PNA) — a carbohydrate-binding protein that rapidly enters into the blood circulation after peanuts are eaten — interacts with blood vascular wall (endothelial) cells to produce molecules called cytokines.

The cytokines in question, IL-6 and MCP-1 are well-known promoters of cancer metastasis. The increased cytokine production causes other endothelial cells to express more cell surface adhesion molecules, making them more attractive to the circulating tumour cells and thus potentially promoting metastasis.

In an earlier study, Corresponding Author Professor Lu-Gang Yu and colleagues reported that circulating PNA binds to a special sugar chain, which occurs mainly on pre-cancerous and cancer cells, and interacts with a larger protein expressed on the surface of tumour cells in the bloodstream.

This interaction triggers changes in the larger protein, resulting in underlying adhesion molecules on the surface of the cancer cell to become exposed, making the cancer cells stickier and easier to attach themselves to the blood vessels. It also allows the cancer cells to form small clumps that prolong the survival of cancer cells in the body’s circulation. Many epithelial cancers spread to the other organs through traveling through the bloodstream.

This shows peanuts in the shell
It also allows the cancer cells to form small clumps that prolong the survival of cancer cells in the body’s circulation. Image is in the public domain

Professor Lugang Yu said: “Although further research and investigation are still needed, these studies suggest that very frequent consumption of peanuts by cancer patients might increase the risk of metastatic spread.

“Reassuringly though, a large US study reported no significant impact of peanut consumption on cancer mortality. In another study, peanut consumption was reported to have no significant effect on prognosis in men with established prostate cancer. In our previous healthy volunteer study, substantial blood concentrations of PNA were only seen transiently one hour or so after consumption of a large dose (250g) of peanuts, so it may be that ‘normal’ peanut consumption yielding lower PNA concentrations is harmless.

“Nevertheless, the possibility remains that circulating PNA, at least at the relatively high levels found shortly after a large “dose” of peanuts, could have a significant biological effect on tumour cells circulating at that time, with a potential for increased risk of metastasis. Heavy or very frequent peanut consumption therefore might be better avoided by cancer patients.”

The possible impact of heavy peanut consumption by cancer patients on survival will need to be investigated in further population-based epidemiological studies.

Funding: This study was supported by the American Institute for Cancer Research.

About this cancer research news
Source: University of Liverpool
Contact: Press Office – University of Liverpool
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Closed access.
“Appearance of peanut agglutinin in the blood circulation after peanut ingestion promotes endothelial secretion of metastasis-promoting cytokines” by Weikun Wang, Paulina Sindrewicz-Goral, Chen Chen, Carrie A Duckworth, David Mark Pritchard, Jonathan M Rhodes, Lu-Gang Yu. Carcinogenesis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s