Diane Birt, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294- 3011
Tracy Griffin, News Service, (515) 294-4777
ISU PROFESSOR RECEIVES FUNDING FOR COLON CANCER STUDY
AMES, Iowa--Diane Birt, Iowa State University professor and chair of food science and human nutrition, has been awarded a $165,000 grant to study the role of apigenin in colon cancer prevention.
Apigenin is a chemical produced by plants to help protect them from UV rays and insects. Earlier studies conducted by Birt indicated that this chemical could help prevent skin cancer.
"We have previously shown that this compound prevents skin cancer because it blocks cancer cell proliferation," Birt said. "We now want to see if it is effective in blocking colon cancer development."
The skin cancer prevention study used an external application of apigenin to prevent the cancer growth. To prevent internal types of cancer, apigenin would be taken orally. Birt's colon cancer study will determine the dosage of apigenin needed in the diet to help prevent colon cancer.
Early studies conducted by Birt show that apigenin is blocking the colon cancer cell division cycle.
Birt's two-year grant was awarded by the American Institute for Cancer Research.
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