A recent study performed at Texas A&M University revealed that peaches and plums may present an even sweeter, juicier treat in their ability to fight breast cancer. According to research scientists Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos and Dr. David Byrne from AgriLife Research at Texas A&M, extracts found in commercial varieties of peaches and plums have been shown to kill breast cancer cells while not harming normal cells.

The AgriLife research scientists identified two phenolic compounds within the Rich Lady peach and Black Splendor plum that are responsible for killing the cancer cells. Phenols are organic compounds that occur in fruits and may affect traits such as aroma, taste or color. Stone fruits such as peaches and plums have especially high levels of phenols.

The objective of the study was to evaluate the cancer suppression activity of extracts from a commercial variety of a yellow-fleshed peach and a red-fleshed plum and identify the phenolic fractions that may possess potential as chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic natural compounds. Based on analysis of phenolic compounds, both peach and plum extracts effectively inhibited the proliferation of the estrogen independent MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells while not affecting normal cells.

The researchers concluded that the phenolic compounds examined in breast cancer and normal cells (in-vitro studies) and confirmed in mice models (in-vivo studies) have potential as chemopreventive dietary compounds, however, more research is required before understanding this application to humans.