OKLAHOMA CITY, March 17 (UPI) -- Enriched extract of the Somalian frankincense herb Boswellia carteri has been shown to kill off bladder cancer cells, U.S. researchers said.
H.K. Lin and his team at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma City VA Medical Center evaluated frankincense oil for its anti-tumor activity in bladder cancer cells.
The study authors investigated the effects of the oil in two different types of cells in culture: human bladder cancer cells and normal bladder cells.
The study, published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that frankincense oil is able to discriminate between normal and cancerous bladder cells in culture, and specifically kill cancer cells.
Gene analyses were performed to determine how frankincense oil affects bladder cancer cell survival and the researchers found that the oil suppresses cancer cell growth by arresting cell cycle progression and induces bladder cancer cell death by activating multiple cell death pathways.
"Frankincense oil may represent an inexpensive alternative therapy for patients currently suffering from bladder cancer," Lin said in a statement.