The liver is a large organ located in the abdomen. It has many functions that are necessary for life including processing nutrients from food, removing toxins from the body, and building proteins. Cancerous tumours in the liver can damage healthy tissue and prevent the liver from functioning the way it should.
Professor Amin from Cellular & Molecular Biology at United Arab Emirates University said that researchers have investigated and found saffron to have anti-liver cancer properties.
“Safranal, a major biomolecule of the golden spice saffron arrests and stops the cancer cell division at two different stages,” he said.
“It can now be made into drugs and we are looking into whether the same can be used to fight breast and colorectal cancers as well. “This molecule could serve as a novel and/or adjuvant drug to treat liver cancer,” said Dr Amin.
” said, Prof Amin.
The work is in collaboration with experts in RNAseq analysis and System Biology from New York University Abu Dhabi and in Pharmacology from the University of Sharjah.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. Medical evidence has shown that chronic infection with hepatitis B and C are major risk factors for HCC, and exposure to environmental carcinogens, iron overload, fatty liver disease and alcohol abuse can also contribute to the development of liver cancer.