Bromelain in Complementary Tumor Therapy

H.R. Maurer and K.Eckert

Bromelain is a mixture of various, closely related proteinases from pineapple, demonstrating, in vitro and in vivo, antiedematous, antiphlogistic, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic activities.The factors involved are biochemically characterized only in part. Due to its oral efficacy bromelain has gained, as a plant drug, growing acceptance and compliance among patients. Recent results from preclinical and pharmacological studies would suggest oral bromelain as a drug for complemenatary tumor therapy:

Bromelain acts as an immunomodulator by raising the impaired immunocytotoxicity of monocytes from tumor patients against tumor cells and by inducing distinct cytokines like TNF-alpha, I-1beta, and Il-6.

In a recent clinical study with 15 mammary tumor patients these findings could be confirmed. Particularily exciting are reports from animal experiments claiming an antimetastatic efficacy, inhibition of metastasis-associated platelet aggregation as well as inhibition of growth and invasiveness of tumor cells by proteolytic modulation of distinct surface molecules (CD44).

Whether bromelain will gain wide acceptance as an antimetastatic drug on the basis of these findings has to be determined by further clinical trials. Anyhow the claim that bromelain cannot be effective after oral administration is definitively refuted by now.

Thanks to Geli, in Germany

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