A 2010 review of the research shows that further clinical studies are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of ginger in treatment of cancer since preclinical studies with both cell culture models and animal studies show chemopreventive action by decrease in tumor initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer cells.
The putative active compounds are nonvolatile pungent principles, namely gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone. These compounds are some of the extensively studied phytochemicals and account for the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and gastroprotective activities. A number of preclinical investigations with a wide variety of assay systems and carcinogens have shown that ginger and its compounds possess chemopreventive and antineoplastic effects. A number of mechanisms have been observed to be involved in the chemopreventive effects of ginger. [...] The above-mentioned mechanisms of ginger seem to be promising for cancer prevention; however, further clinical studies are warranted to assess the efficacy and safety of ginger.
Research shows that 10-year gains from a one-third breast cancer mortality reduction depend on absolute risks without chemotherapy.
Earlier studies show that 6-shogaol, an alkanone from ginger, exhibited the most potent cytotoxicity against human A549, SK-OV-3, SK-MEL-2, and HCT15 tumor cells, compared to other gingerols and whole ginger extract is effective in prostrate cancer treatment.
A study in 2014 showed that 6-shogaol from ginger was effective in killing both breast cancer monolayer cells and spheroids in vitro at doses that were not toxic to noncancerous cells and that this raises hope for more studies into its therapeutic benefit in breast cancer treatment.
In this study, we have investigated inhibitory activity of the ginger-derived compound 6-shogaol against breast cancer cells both in monolayer and in cancer-stem cell-like spheroid culture. The spheroids were generated from adherent breast cancer cells. 6-shogaol was effective in killing both breast cancer monolayer cells and spheroids at doses that were not toxic to noncancerous cells.
These results obtained in Petri dishes might not apply in living humans.
The principal constituents of ginger (Zingiber officinale) include 6-gingerol, 6-paradol, 6-shogaol (dehydration gingerols), and zingerone. Animal models have been used to examine the role of ginger in cancer prevention but it does not appear effective in all cases. A summary of the anticancer activities exerted by ginger are mentioned here.
Research has shown effects of ginger in three treatments unrelated to directly curing cancer.
- Probably effective in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting.
- May be effective in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting.
- beneficial effect on acute nausea from chemotherapy.