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SAM shows promise against breast cancer

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

February 23 2018. A research paper published in the January 12, 2018 issue of Oncotarget reveals protective effects for S-adenosylmethionine (SAM or SAMe) against cancer growth, invasion and metastasis in human breast cancer cells and in a mouse model of the disease.

“We and others have shown that several key molecules implicated in the metastatic cascade are epigenetically regulated through DNA hypomethylation,” Niaz Mahmood and colleagues. “The universal methyl donor SAM could be used in this regard as an inhibitor of demethylation/hypomethylation.”

By testing the effects of two concentrations of SAM on two highly invasive human breast cancer cell lines, a reduction in tumor cell proliferation was observed in comparison to cells treated with an inert substance. In contrast, normal human breast cells treated with the highest concentration of SAMe did not show any change in viability compared to the control cells, indicating a lack of potential adverse effects in healthy tissue. Treatment with SAM was also found to decrease the migratory ability and invasiveness of both cell lines. Further investigation determined that SAM induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in both lines by suppressing antiapoptotic effects.

In mice that received implanted human breast tumor cells, tumor volume and metastasis were reduced in association with treatment with SAM. S-adenosylmethionine was also associated with a decrease in the expression of genes implicated in cancer metastasis and progression in breast tumor grafts as well as cancer cells.

“To our knowledge, this is the first direct evidence for the potential therapeutic effect of SAM in a well-recognized model of breast cancer,” the authors announce. “Results from these studies provide compelling evidence to evaluate the therapeutic as well as a chemopreventive potential of epigenetic-based agents such as SAM alone and in the combination setting for patients with several common cancers including breast cancer.”

—D Dye

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