27 Jan Antimicrobial and Anticancer Properties of Nisin Explored
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD
Professor, Division of Periodontics
Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Ann Arbor, MI
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Kapila: Our research showed that the preservative nisin induces cancer cell death. When tested on normal control cells to see if they were affected, the control cells were not affected. Thus, the most recent project began in order to find out more details as to why this occurred. We used a cancer mouse model (head and neck cancer) to show that nisin can retard tumor growth and extent the life of these mice.
Another thing that we published about the preservative is nisin’s role on biofilms. Biofilms are communities of bacteria that can cause diseases. Nisin has been tested in bacterial biofilms that contain bacteria that cause gum disease and dental decay and nisin has been found to be effective in this setting as well.
In laboratory settings, nisin is also cytotoxic to superbugs, including the most resistant bugs found in hospitals, and therefore nisin holds promise for several therapeutic applications.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Kapila: Given its long history of safety and use in foods as a preservative and its many potential applications, nisin holds great promise for several therapeutic applications. Although it is too early to tell whether this will translate to human therapy, a human clinical trial is the next step. This will help determine the potential for development of nisin as a therapeutic.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Kapila: The next steps would be to conduct a human clinical trial with nisin. We are interested in focusing on head and neck cancer and then eventually other therapeutic applications of nisin. The idea would be to determine the optimal dose from a human clinical trial and then go from there
Medical Research: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Kapila: The implications from this research are that some day pharmaceutical grade nisin may be developed for use in treating a variety of human diseases; as an antitumor and as an antimicrobial agent.
Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD (2016). Antimicrobial and Anticancer Properties of Nisin Explored