The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Black-raspberry gel to prevent mouth cancer

    Oral cancer (cancer of the mouth) accounts for about only 4% of all cancers diagnosed each year in the US, but survival rates are among the lowest of major cancers.

    Dr. Susan Mallery from the Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry reports that a gel made from black raspberry could stop oral lesions that often leave patients permanently disfigured.

    First, the details.

    • 30 people, 20 with precancerous lesions, and 10 normal controls were studied.
    • Each person gently dried the lesions (or a pre-selected site in the controls).
    • Then, they rubbed the gel into the area 4 times a day for 6 weeks.

    And, the results?

    • 35% of the lesions showed microscopic improvement.
    • Another 45% showed that their lesions stabilized.
    • 20% showed an increase in their microscopic diagnoses.
    • There were no side effects.

    The bottom line?
    The results from an earlier study of black raspberries revealed that the effects of black raspberries on premalignant and malignant human oral cells might be related to their ability to stop cell growth and cell division.

    The gel used in this study looked like black raspberry jam, but was a 10% mixture of the gel mixed with a bioadhesive gel (without sugar).

    Actually this study was as much about evaluating the feasibility of using the bioadhesive to deliver cancer-preventing compounds directly to the site of treatment as it was about black raspberries.

    Dr. Mallery, presenting her results during the American Association for Cancer Research’s Sixth Annual International Conference, concluded, “This gel appears to be a valid means of delivering anthocyanins [antioxidants] and other cancer-preventing compounds directly to precancerous cells, since it slowed or reduced lesion progression in about two-thirds of study participants,”

    This study builds on earlier animal research at Ohio State were freeze-dried black raspberries that were ground up and suspended in KY jelly showed anticancer activity.

    12/15/07 13:01 JR

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