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Hot-pepper ingredient slows cancer in mice

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5:55pm, April 17, 2006

From Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research

Capsaicin, the compound that gives hot chili peppers their zip, kills cancer cells in a test tube and slows the growth of pancreatic and prostate cancers in mice, two studies show.

A University of Pittsburgh Medical School team led by biochemist Sanjay K. Srivastava implanted pancreatic tumor cells from people into mice. The same day, some of the mice began receiving oral doses of capsaicin while the others got saline solution.

After 38 days, tumors in the capsaicin group were half the size of the tumors in the mice getting saline.

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