~ Ginkgo Use Linked With Lower Incidence Of Most Deadly Female Cancer

A presentation on October 31, 2005 at the American Association for Cancer Research's 4th annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Baltimore revealed that consuming ginkgo biloba is associated with a 60 percent lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than that experienced by women who did not take the herb. 

Massachusetts researchers, led by Drs. Bin Ye and Daniel Cramer of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, examined data from 600 women with ovarian cancer and 640 healthy matched controls.  Ten percent of the women with cancer reported the use of herbal supplements at least once per week for six months or longer prior to their diagnosis, which was comparable to the number of healthy women who reported herbal supplement use. 

Of the most commonly used herbs, only ginkgo was found to be associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.  Over 4 percent of the healthy women compared to 1.6 percent of those with ovarian cancer reported using ginkgo.  Among women who had nonmucinous ovarian cancers, ginkgo use was associated with a 65-70 percent risk reduction.  

In vitro investigation found that specific compounds in ginkgo stopped the growth of ovarian cancer cells.  Dr Ye explained:  "Among the mixture of ginkgo chemicals we found laboratory evidence that ginkgolide A and B--terpene compounds--are the most active components contributing to this protective effect . . . While the detailed mechanism of ginkgo action on ovarian cancer cells is not yet well understood, from the existing literature it most likely that ginkgo and ginkgolides are involved in anti-inflammation and antiangiogenesis processes via many extra- and intra-cellular signal pathways. In the future, these findings could potentially offer a new strategy for ovarian cancer prevention and therapy, using the active forms of ginkgolides."

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