Nigella sativa and its phytocomponent thymoquinone is a choice treatment for Pancreatic Cancer.

WRITTEN BY DR. MUHAMMAD MUKHTAR, PHD AND A GOOGLE NOTED SCHOLAR WITH 91 CITATIONS.

Pancreatic Cancer


The pancreas is an organ within the abdominal cavity located in the lower part of the stomach. This organ produces several hormones including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin. Importantly insulin plays a major role in the regulation of blood sugar. 

Cancer of the pancreas is a leading cause of death globally, and its two major types are highly prevalent in adenocarcinoma (85%) and pancreatic endocrine tumors  [1]

Pancreatic cancer is considered one of cancer in which patient even do not know, and disease reaches advanced stages. 

Although a variety of treatment options including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunological treatments have been recommended, however, none of them can successfully treat the patient, and most of the cases have to suffer from side effects of these treatments. 

Due to the nature of cancer, as early diagnosis is impossible, and it stays benign, many of the patients end up with palliative care. 


Scientific studies and empirical information are proving that Nigella sativa seeds/oils and its constituent mainly thymoquinone is an ideal treatment option for pancreatic cancer [2]

There is a great need to apprise people who have pancreatic cancer to use Nigella sativa so they can get better relief compared with conventional palliative therapies or general treatments.


Nigella sativa seeds and oil are a naturally safer product for the treatment of pancreatic cancer 


Several plants and their different parts including seeds have therapeutic values. However, Nigella sativa is the unique one as it has been mentioned in the Islamic medicine. The seeds of this plant are considered as the treatment for every ailment except death. Nigella sativa seeds and its oil both have proven their potential to cure a variety of disease including cancer. 

Nigella exhibit anticancer effect through a variety of mechanisms elaborated in a review article published in the year 2016[2]. The benefits of Nigella in a complex type of cancer like pancreatic cancer is quite intriguing.  

As there is no suitable anti-cancer agent developed for this type of cancer. It is essential to keep in mind that every anti-cancer medicine or treatment option is associated with colossal damage. 

As the disease is an uncontrolled growth of cells and chemotherapeutic agents used or surgical maneuvering is related to injuries to the adjacent cells also. 

Usage of traditional products Nigella sativa seeds or oils are free of any sides effects and do not exert any additional harm like surgical or radiation treatments.

Pancreatic cancer treatment with Nigella sativa – Scientific studies 


Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the toughest types of cancer to treat with chemotherapeutics. There is an FDA approved product gemcitabine (Gemzar) frequently prescribed by the oncologist. 

However, its effectiveness is not reliable, and as such most of the time, this medicine is combined with other chemotherapeutic products that sometimes worsen treatment outcomes.

Radiotherapy has not been so successful as far as pancreatic cancer is concerned. Under these circumstances, Nigella sativa is one of the ideal traditional medicine to treat pancreatic cancer as it has shown a beneficial effect both in vitro and in vivo studies. 

Although significant constituent of Nigella sativa, thymoquinone has been characterized as the anti-cancer element. 

However, taking Nigella sativa in the form of seeds and oil can have more potential as this make it possible to deliver therapeutic constituent in its native form. 

It is important to mention here a scientific study that compared the effect of Nigella sativa component thymoquinone individually and in combination with FDA approved product for controlling pancreatic cancer.

 It was intriguing to note that thymoquinone inhibits the growth of almost every type of pancreatic cancer manifested through its effects on in vitro pancreatic cancer cell line growth that was above 70% [3]. Significant findings of this study were that thymoquinone has no impact on the growth of healthy cells. 

This is unique as it acts like a targeted therapy. Key results of this study were that Nigella sativa component thymoquinone itself significantly control pancreatic cancer in Vitro[ and in vivo in the animal model


Furthermore, in combination with pancreatic cancer medicine gemcitabine or oxaliplatin the cancer cell ability of thymoquinone was enhanced. 

If evaluated along with scientific lines it will be prudent to use Nigella sativa component alone as it might take a bit more time to control pancreatic cancer and importantly the treatment will not be having any side effects. 

Importantly, the findings of Nigella sativa to be useful for the pancreatic cancer are almost halfway through as far as standard drug discovery pipeline is considered. Strong pre-clinical results are proving the efficacy of the Nigella in treating pancreatic cancer.



Nigella saliva controls cancers through five different mechanisms


Almost every chemotherapeutic for the treatment of cancer affects a cellular or biological pathway. The benefit of Nigella sativa mediated cancer control is through five different mechanisms[2]:


1.    Anti-proliferative/Pro-apoptotic Effect

2.    Anti-oxidant & cytotoxicity

3.    Inhibiting Mutations Leading to Cancer

4.    Controlling Metastasis

5.    Natural Killer Cell-mediated Cytotoxic Effects


In cancer including pancreatic, there is an excessive proliferation of cells and the anti-proliferative activity of the Nigella sativa is exerted through downregulation of a variety of molecular moieties including total sialic acid, lipid-bound sialic acid, alpha-fetoprotein, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 6 and prolactin levels. Importantly pro-apoptotic potential of the Nigella is linked with activation of enzymes causing cell death, particularly caspases 3, 8 and nine besides elevation of p53[2].


Excessive oxidative stress is linked with oncogenesis[4], and Nigella sativa enhances the level of glutathione that overcomes the oxidative stress. Besides this, the effects of Nigella in reducing levels of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxides, nitric oxide, and malondialdehyde are all beneficial in controlling cancers[2].


The hallmark of cancer is an excessive alteration in the cellular genetic material[5]. Scientific studies have confirmed that Nigella sativa have an antimutagenic effect through activation of deoxyribonucleic acid repair & replication fidelity, degradation of mutagens (oncogenic molecules) and decrease chromosomal aberration that ultimately induces cancer[2]

Excessive proliferation in any cancer is linked with higher mutation rate. Nigella sativa in the stabilization of genetic material can save people from almost every type of cancer. 


Anti-metastatic property of Nigella sativa is beneficial for controlling tumor [6]. Nigella anti-metastatic effect is linked with its ability to downregulate tissue-type plasminogen activator, urokinase plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1[2].


Nigella sativa possesses strong NK cytotoxic effects[7] through upregulation of various biological moieties including interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha, granzyme A and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase[2].


Why Nigella sativa seeds/oils should be used to treat pancreatic cancer.


It is important to mention here that Nigella sativa possesses all the properties of an ideal anticancer medicine. Scientific studies have strongly suggested its anti-proliferative/cytotoxic, pro-apoptotic, antioxidant, control over mutations properties. 

Cancer is abnormal growth of cells and is linked with mutations in genetic materials, and the anti-mutational properties of Nigella are beneficial in not only controlling cancer rather curb the disorder overall.


Scientists have tried to identify the reasons why Nigella sativa has such a curative property in hard to deal with cancer like pancreatic cancer. One of the most significant contributions is by the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA scientist, Dr. Hwyda Arafat.  

Her research team evaluated the effect of one of the Nigella components the thymoquinone on the pancreatic cancer cell line. Addition of thymoquinone killed almost 80% of the pancreatic cancer cells. 

The team also observed the mechanisms of cancer cell killing and identified several molecular components involved in this process. Dr. Arafat team also found that thymoquinone was not only killing the cells rather it makes certain changes in the genetic material of cells that compel the cell to stay in normal stage instead of getting cancerous [8]

Her continued interest in the treatment of pancreatic cancer with Nigella sativa has made several advancements. Although her initial teamwork was reported in the year 2008, however, in her 2016 scientific publication she asserts that Nigella sativa should be considered as a drug of choice to “prevent postoperative cancer recurrence and to prolong survival of Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients after surgical resection. [9]". 

Through all these years of hard work is confirming the scientific rationale and unraveling mechanisms through which Nigella sativa component thymoquinone controls pancreatic cancer.


Concluding Thoughts


All scientific data and empirical information strongly suggest Nigella sativa efficacy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Importantly, nigella mediated cancer control is through multiple mechanisms as discussed in this article. 

Pancreatic cancer is a unique type of cancer that continue developing without its earlier manifestation. Patients come to know about the problem once enough irreversible damage has been done. 

Conventional treatments are associated with side effects of either chemotherapy or other manipulations. Under such circumstances, there is nothing better to treat pancreatic cancer than Nigella sativa seeds/oil or its isolated constituent thymoquinone. Importantly, taking seeds or oil for treatment purposes will be having relatively better efficacy as isolated phytoconstituents sometime get degraded also. So patient suffering from pancreatic cancer are advised to have a better quality of life through Nigella sativa treatment option.


I cannot emphasize enough the need to use the best black seed oil available and this is the one I recommend, to be on a cancer diet, have sun or use Vitamin D3 (always be tested) and have no stress.  

I also recommend Immune Assist for critical care patients, IP6 with inosol and Transfer Beta Glucan especially if in stage 4 due to the fact that Nigella Sativa caused cell death in 80 percent of the cases and so we want to help increase the rates of survival.

Rates of survival with chemotherapy has been proven to be a very low 2.1percent over five years.

Just ask Aretha Fanklin's family what they think of chemo today.


Aretha Franklin - We would be lapse if we did not mention the recent passing of the wonderful Aretha Franklin.  She died August 16th, 2018 of Pancreatic Cancer.  

But she was not the only one.  Patrick Swayze and Steve Jobs and thousands of others died also from this awful cancer.  Pancreatic Cancer is one of the worse cancers to get due to the fact that most do not have symptoms for many years after it has spread to major organs.  

We have to wonder if Aretha had taken the Nigella Sativa protocol if she could have been saved.  God be with her and her family and those who suffered from this cancer.           



 References
1.   Wu, Z., et al., [Research progress in epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment for pancreatic cancer]. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban, 2017. 42(6): p. 713-719.  http://www.csumed.com/xbwk/EN/abstract/abstract3925.shtml

 2.  Majdalawieh, A.F., and M.W. Fayyad, [G21] Recent advances on the anti-cancer properties of Nigella sativa, a widely used food additive. J Ayurveda Integr Med, 2016. 7(3): p. 173-180.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5052360/
3.   Schor, J., Thymoquinone Augments Chemotherapy Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. Natural Medicine Journal, 2010. 2(1).  https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2010-01/thymoquinone-augments-chemotherapy-treatment-pancreatic-cancer
 4.  Postovit, L., et al., Harnessing Oxidative Stress as an Innovative Target for Cancer Therapy. Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2018. 2018: p. 6135739.  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/6135739/
5.    Li, Y., et al., Clinical diagnosis and detection of genetic mutations of pancreatic metastases: A report of four cases and review of the literature. Oncol Lett, 2017. 14(1): p. 1017-1024. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2017.6260/download
6.   Ait Mbarek, L., et al., Anti-tumor properties of black seed (Nigella sativa L.) extracts. Braz J Med Biol Res, 2007. 40(6): p. 839-47.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17581684
 7.   Shabsoug, B., R. Khalil, and N. Abuharfeil, Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in vitro against human tumor cells by some plants from Jordan. J Immunotoxicol, 2008. 5(3): p. 279-85.  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15376510802312027
 8.   Arafat, H.A., Traditional Herbal Medicine Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells, Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Researchers Report.http://blog.kimmelcancercenter.org/?p=103, 2008.
 9.  Relles, D., et al., Thymoquinone Promotes Pancreatic Cancer Cell Death and Reduction of Tumor Size through Combined Inhibition of Histone Deacetylation and Induction of Histone Acetylation. Adv Prev Med, 2016. 2016: p. 1407840.