The potential application of Allium sativum (garlic) for the treatment of bladder cancer.


Lamm DL, Riggs DR




Urol Clin North Am


Additional studies are needed to identify the active ingredients in Allium Sativum (garlic) that are responsible for the observed antitumor activity and immune stimulation. Garlic seems to detoxify chemical carcinogens and prevent carcinogenesis and can also directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Current data suggest that low molecular weight sulfur compounds and protein F4 have immune-stimulation properties. Garlic is reported to stimulate immunity, including macrophage activity, natural killer and killer cells, and LAK cells, and to increase the production of IL-2, TNF, and interferon-gamma. These cytokines are associated with the beneficial Th1 antitumor response, which is characteristic of effective cancer immunotherapies. As is true of BCG, garlic stimulates the proliferation of macrophages and lymphocytes and protects against the suppression of immunity by chemotherapy and ultraviolet radiation. Garlic is clearly not a panacea for cancer, but its broad range of beneficial effects are worthy of serious consideration in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of cancer.