NDSU researchers to explore effects of oregano on types of cancer

NDSU researchers to explore effects of oregano on types of cancer

NDSU researchers have been awarded a grant to study the effects of oregano on breast and prostate cancer. The $80,500 comes from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission.

The project is titled “Development of Health Targeted High Value Crops in North Dakota for Prevention, Treatment and Management of Breast and Prostate Cancer Metastasis.” 

The principal investigator is Kalpana Katti, University Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering. Co-principal investigators include: Kalidas Shetty, professor and associate vice president for international partnerships and collaborations; Dinesh Katti, Jordon A. Engberg Presidential Professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Dipayan Sarkar, postdoctoral research fellow. 

“Our goal is to develop health-targeted, high value crops grown in North Dakota and optimize efficacy for the prevention, treatment and management of breast and prostate cancer,” Kalpana Katti said, noting more than three million people are diagnosed with prostate or breast cancer each year around the world, and about one million people die as a result. 

The research group led by Katti and Katti has developed in vitro tissue-engineered testbeds that mimic cancer at the bone site in human patients. The researchers led by Shetty and Sarkar have developed plant-based phenolic compounds that have shown promise as nutritional supplements, combined with disease-combating attributes. 

The research will combine the expertise of the Katti and Shetty groups to study the efficacy of extracts from oregano and related high phenolic crops using the bone mimetic cancer testbeds for metastatic prostate and breast cancer. Parallel studies will also be conducted to evaluate the effect of the natural extracts on healthy bone cells and bone regeneration. 

“The ultimate goal of this research is to identify new uses and add value for oregano and related high phenolic crops grown in North Dakota, create health targeted high value markets for the products, build partnerships with local farmers, initiate patents and advance spin-off companies for job creation,” Katti said. “The proposed research has a strong potential to increase employment in North Dakota, improve the health-targeted markets through added value and develop new manufacturing capability in the agriculture sector in the state.”

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