Background: Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc) is a natural dietary component with antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. The ginger component -gingerol has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects through mediation of NF-kappaB. NF-kappaB can be constitutively activated in epithelial ovarian cancer cells and may contribute towards increased transcription and translation of angiogenic factors. In the present study, we investigated the effect of ginger on tumor cell growth and modulation of angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells in vitro.
Methods: The effect of ginger and the major ginger components on cell growth was determined in a panel of epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines. Activation of NF-kappaB and and production of VEGF and IL-8 was determined in the presence or absence of ginger.
Results: Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested. We found that in vitro, 6-shogaol is the most active of the individual ginger components tested. Ginger treatment resulted in inhibition of NF-kB activation as well as diminished secretion of VEGF and IL-8.
Conclusion: Ginger inhibits growth and modulates secretion of angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells. The use of dietary agents such as ginger may have potential in the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.