Q:

How is paw paw used for cancer treatment?

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Quick Answer

Paw paw extract contains acetogenins, which prevent cells from making adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, and causing programmed cell death, or apoptosis, of cancer cells, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Taken orally as a capsule, paw paw is a cancer protocol for newly diagnosed cancer patients, states CancerTutor.com.

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Full Answer

All cells in the human body require glucose and oxygen to produce ATP, or the energy the cells need to survive, notes Dr. Jerry McLaughlin for PawPawResearch.com. Cancer cells require more energy than normal cells, so when paw paw blocks production of ATP, the cancer cells essentially starve and die, while the normal cells in the body are relatively unharmed. Paw paw also kills multiple-drug resistant cells that often form in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Due to the fact the cells are being starved to death and not poisoned, like in chemotherapy, treatment takes longer, explains CancerTutor.com. It is not a recommended protocol for fast-growing cancer patients, as it is only effective for newly diagnosed or slow-growing cancer patients.

In vitro laboratory studies show paw paw plant extract kills cancer cells, including those resistant to chemotherapy drugs such as Adriamycin, reports the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Laboratory studies also show paw paw extract negatively affects cancer cells more so than normal cells. However, experiments in mice were inconclusive, and there is very little scientific evidence to support paw paw as an effective treatment of cancer in humans.

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