Cancer prevention with freeze-dried berries and berry components

Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):403-10. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2007.05.001. Epub 2007 May 10.


Our laboratory is developing a food-based approach to the prevention of esophageal and colon cancer utilizing freeze-dried berries and berry extracts. Dietary freeze-dried berries were shown to inhibit chemically induced cancer of the rodent esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%. The berries are effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development. Berries inhibit tumor initiation events by influencing carcinogen metabolism, resulting in reduced levels of carcinogen-induced DNA damage. They inhibit promotion/progression events by reducing the growth rate of pre-malignant cells, promoting apoptosis, reducing parameters of tissue inflammation and inhibiting angiogenesis. On a molecular level, berries modulate the expression of genes involved with proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and angiogenesis. We have recently initiated clinical trials; results from a toxicity study indicated that freeze-dried black raspberries are well tolerated in humans when administered orally for 7 days at a dose of 45 g per day. Several Phase IIa clinical trials are underway in patients at high risk for esophagus and colon cancer; i.e., Barrett's esophagus, esophageal dysplasia and colonic polyps, to determine if berries will modulate various histological and molecular biomarkers of development of these diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Freeze Drying
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Powders
  • Rats


  • Powders