Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Patients receiving chemo or radiation deserve all the advantage they can muster. Black cumin seed is a powerful natural food which radio-sensitizes cancer cells to make them more vulnerable to radiation while protects the patient by reducing side-effects. That is a win-win which can mean the difference between life and death.
“…Combined with radiation, TQ significantly reduced clonogenic survival compared with each treatment method alone. TQ is a promising agent in the treatment of head and neck cancer due to its anti-proliferative and radiosensitizing properties…”
“… Nigella sativa seeds, could be used in combination with radiation to protect against oxidative stress in normal tissues and improving the quality of life of cancer patients by mitigating unwanted side effects of radiation in normal tissues…”
“…TQ significantly improved the UVA-induced cytotoxicity on HaCaT cells. TQ treatment alleviated the oxidative stress and inflammation in UVA-irradiated keratinocytes…”
“…analysis revealed the role of enhanced apoptosis and cell cycle modulation in the mechanism of TQ-mediated radiosensitization, thus supporting TQ as an adjuvant for preclinical testing in cancer chemo-radiotherapy…”
PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES
Oncol Lett. 2017 Jul;14(1):1147-1151. doi: 10.3892/ol.2017.6189. Epub 2017 May 17.
Effect of thymoquinone on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro: Synergism with radiation
Ulana Kotowski 1 , Gregor Heiduschka 1 , Lorenz Kadletz 1 , Tammer Fahim 1 , Rudolf Seemann 2 , Rainer Schmid 3 , Sven Schneider 1 , Andreas Mitterbauer 4 , Dietmar Thurnher 5
Free PMC article
Thymoquinone (TQ) is the main bioactive constituent present in black seed oil (Nigella sativa); it has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic effects in various cancer cell types. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of TQ on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines, on its own and in combination with radiation and cisplatin, respectively. The SCC25 and CAL27 HNSCC cell lines were treated with TQ alone and in combination with cisplatin or radiation, respectively. Proliferation assays and clonogenic assays were performed. Apoptosis was detectedby flow cytometry. TQ exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicityvia apoptosis in the investigated cell lines. In combination with cisplatin, TQ resulted in no significant increase in cytotoxicity. Combined with radiation, TQ significantly reduced clonogenic survival compared with each treatment method alone. TQ is a promising agent in the treatment of head and neck cancer due to its anti-proliferative and radiosensitizing properties. However, the combination of TQ with cisplatin showed no therapeutic benefit in vitro.
Indian J Pharm Sci. 2012 Sep;74(5):403-14. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.108415.
Radioprotection by Macerated Extract of Nigella sativa in Normal Tissues of Fibrosarcoma Bearing Mice
Reelma Velho-Pereira 1 , A Kumar, B N Pandey, K P Mishra, Aarti G Jagtap
Free PMC article
The current study was undertaken to study the effect of a macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds in normal as well as in tumour bearing mice against gamma radiation-induced cellular damage to normal tissues. This was done to mimic the clinical setting where in, normal tissues of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy are exposed to the deleterious effects of radiation. The protection of cellular DNA was analysed in peripheral blood leucocytes of whole body irradiated mice following pretreatment with macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds (100 mg/kg), using alkaline comet assay, and also estimating biochemical and blood parameters such as levels of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and protein oxidation in organs such as spleen, liver, brain and intestine haemoglobin and total leucocyte count, respectively. The results showed that the macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds protected the liver, spleen, brain and intestines both in normal as well as tumour bearing mice. This study concludes that macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds has protective effects against radiation-induced damage and biochemical alterations which could be attributed to the ability to scavenge free radicals and its antioxidant properties. Hence macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds, could be used in combination with radiation to protect against oxidative stress in normal tissues and improving the quality of life of cancer patients by mitigating unwanted side effects of radiation in normal tissues.
Mol Immunol. 2021 Jul;135:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2021.03.015. Epub 2021 Apr 12.
Thymoquinone, extract from Nigella sativa seeds, protects human skin keratinocytes against UVA-irradiated oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction
Junfang Liang 1 , Liyang Lian 2 , Xiaoli Wang 2 , Liang Li 3
Ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation caused skin keratinocytes to accumulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to the skin injury. Thymoquinone (TQ) was identified as the prominent bioactive ingredient in Nigella sativa seeds which was applied in therapying various human diseases. This study aimed to illustrate the role and mechanism of TQ in UVA-induced skin injury. We pre-treated HaCaT cells with TQ and irradiated them by UVA. MTT and Elisa assays were used to evaluate cell viability and apoptosis, as well as cytokine levels. To detect the related parameters of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function, colorimetry, spectrophotometry, bioluminescence, and dual-luciferase reporter methods were used. RT-qPCR and western blotting were performed for expressions of related mRNAs and proteins. TQ significantly improved the UVA-induced cytotoxicity on HaCaT cells. TQ treatment alleviated the oxidative stress and inflammation in UVA-irradiated keratinocytes. Besides, UVA irradiation promoted mitochondrial dysregulation in HaCaT cells leading to cell apoptosis, which could be reversed by TQ treatment. More importantly, NrF2/ARE pathway was activated in TQ-treated cells, while COX-2 was depressed, and inhibiting the pathway or activating COX-2 blocked the therapeutic effect of TQ on UVA-induced skin cell injury. Our study suggested that TQ treatment attenuated the UVA-induced oxidative and inflammatory responses, as well as mitochondrial apoptosis in keratinocytes by COX-2 inhibition via activating NrF2/ARE pathway. This might be a novel sight for preventing the solar radiation damage to the skin.
Cell Biol Int. 2011 Oct;35(10):1025-9. doi: 10.1042/CBI20100701.
Radiosensitization in human breast carcinoma cells by thymoquinone: role of cell cycle and apoptosis
Reelma Velho-Pereira 1 , Amit Kumar, Badri N Pandey, Aarti G Jagtap, Kaushala P Mishra
TQ (thymoquinone), the bioactive constituent of black seed (Nigella sativa), has been shown to inhibit the growth of various human cancers both in vitro and in vivo. This study reports the radiosensitizing effect of TQ on human breast carcinoma cells (MCF7 and T47D). TQ in combination with single dose of ionizing radiation (2.5 Gy) was found to exert supra-additive cytotoxic effects on both the carcinomas as measured by cell proliferation and colony-formation assays. Annexin V binding and FACS analysis revealed the role of enhanced apoptosis and cell cycle modulation in the mechanism of TQ-mediated radiosensitization, thus supporting TQ as an adjuvant for preclinical testing in cancer chemo-radiotherapy.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol . 2010 Jun;32(2):284-96. doi: 10.3109/08923970903307552.
Radioprotective effects of black seed (Nigella sativa) oil against hemopoietic damage and immunosuppression in gamma-irradiated rats
Background and aim: Sixty male Wistar rats, divided into 4 groups, 15 each, were designed as I-control rats, II-rats orally intubated with Nigella sativa oil (1 ml/kg b.wt./day) for 5 days/week, III-whole body gamma irradiated rats with the estimated LD50/30 (4 Gray) and IV-rats daily intubated with Nigella sativa oil then subjected to whole body gamma irradiation, to investigate the radioprotective potential of Nigella crude oil against hemopoietic adverse effects of gamma irradiation.
Results: Irradiation resulted in significant reduction in hemolysin antibodies titers and delayed type hypersensitivity reaction of irradiated rats, in addition to significant leukopenia and significant decrease in plasma total protein and globulin concentrations and depletion of lymphoid follicles of spleen and thymus gland. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in malondialdehyde concentration with a significant decrease in plasma glutathione peroxidase, catalase and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activities were recorded. Oral administration of Nigella sativa oil before irradiation considerably normalized all the above-mentioned criteria; and produced significant regeneration in spleen and thymus lymphoid follicles.
Conclusion: Our results strongly recommend Nigella sativa oil as a promising natural radioprotective agent against immunosuppressive and oxidative effects of ionizing radiation.
- 2018 May;29(3):e279-e282. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004314.
Evaluation of the Effect of Topical Application of Nigella sativa on Acute Radiation-Induced Nasal Mucositis
Hasan Çanakci 1 , Ayşe Asli Şahin Yilmaz 2 , Mustafa Salih Canpolat 1 , Hatice Şeneldir 3 , Gözde Kir 3 , Ali Hikmet Eriş 4 , Alpaslan Mayadağli 4 , Çağatay Oysu 5
The goal of this study was to demonstrate the effect of radiotherapy (RT) on nasal mucosa in rats and to evaluate the radioprotective effects of the topical application of black seed oil (Nigella sativa [NS]) to treat acute radiation-induced nasal mucositis.A total of 18 rats were randomized into 3 groups, with 6 animals per group. The rats in group 1 were topically administered saline in the nasal cavity after sham irradiation. Group 2 received saline at the same dose after irradiation. Group 3 was given NS after irradiation. The rats in groups 2 and 3 were irradiated with a single dose of 40 Gy to the nasal and paranasal area. Only one drop of saline (0.05 mL) was applied to each nostril in the first, second, and third days after RT in groups 1 and 2. One drop of cold press NS (0.05 mL) was applied to each nostril in group 3. Fourteen days after irradiation, the nasal mucosal tissues were excised for histopathological evaluation. Vascular dilatation, inflammatory cell infiltration, superficial erosion, and formation of exudates were classified according to the severity. No evidence of mucositis was observed in group 1. Of all the parameters the only statistically significant difference between groups 2 and 3 were observed for “superficial erosion’ (P < 0.05). Overall microscopic observations in the NS-treated group were better than in group 2.The preliminary results of our study have shown that local application of NS to the nasal mucosa may be an effective treatment of acute nasal mucositis due to RT.