A Unique Pectin that Blocks 

Cell Surface Lectins

October 4 2010

This week brought a major advance in understanding the effects of modified citrus pectin (MCP) on cancer cells. Scientists at Columbia University published a paper showing that MCP stops the growth of prostate cancer (PC) cells in the test tube. Most significantly this effect was seen in both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent forms of the disease. There are very few treatments for hormone- independent PC, and so a report of likely benefit from a simple nutritional agent is highly significant.

Dr. Jun Yan and Dr. Aaron Katz tested two versions of MCP, PectaSol and PectaSol-C, both invented by Dr. Isaac Eliaz. In general, the new form of product outperformed the earlier version. The authors looked at apoptosis (the most prevalent form of programmed cell death) as well as at the inhibition of cell growth. A one percent solution of PectaSol-C was toxic to five cell lines. After four days of treatment, the total destruction of cancer cells ranged from 23.0 to 52.2 percent. The authors concluded that PectaSol and PectaSol-C both inhibited cell proliferation and apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines.

Source: Dr. Ralph Moss' blog October 4, 2010

by Parris M. Kidd, PhD


Citrus pectin (CP) is a commercially available, water-soluble fiber with proven health benefits. The branching polysaccharide structure of CP can be altered to produce a lower molecular weight, galactose-rich, modified citrus pectin (MCP) which has unique properties.

Specifically, MCP, but not CP, might help retard cancer metastasis by combining with an array of galactose-specific proteins on the cancer cell surface called galectins (for galactose-specific lectins). As with many human cancer cell lines that have been studied, the potentially metastatic B16-F1 (mouse melanoma) and MLL (rat prostate) cells carry galectins, cell surface proteins that bind to galactose on neighboring cancer cells and oligosaccharides on the host cell surface. MCP inhibits metastasis by the cells in the mouse and the rat, respectively.

Unlike the much larger CP polysaccharide, galactose-rich MCP may be small enough to access and bind tightly with galectins on the cancer cell surface, saturating the galactose binding sites of the cancer cell lectins, and thereby inhibiting both aggregation of tumor cells and adhesion to normal cells.

Thus deprived of adhesion, the cancer cells fail to metastasize. Undeniably, important gaps still exist in the current understanding of MCP's clinical efficacy and its mode(s) of action. But MCP's apparent safety and proven anti-metastatic action, and the lack of proven therapies against metastasis, together may justify


Reduced Cell Growth/Metastasis-Oral Mod Citrus Pectin

JNCI, 12/02

Tumor Size Reduced, Kept from Spread

JNCI, 1/03

Dietary Fish Oil & Dietary Pectin

J Nutr, 12/04

Modified Citrus Pectin: Cancer Cell Death & More, Prostate

Integrative Cancer Therapies June 2010

Dr Isaac Eliaz

LINK: Clinic of Dr. Eliaz who created Modified Citrus Pectin

Dr. Eliaz presents at International conference

LINK: October 2011 in Rhodes

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