The herb oregano, commonly used in Italian foods and as a pizza topping, contains a compound that can kill prostate cancer, laboratory studies have shown.
Scientists tested carvacrol, acomponent of oregano, on lines of cancer cells. They found that the chemicalinduced apoptosis, or programmed "cell suicide".
Apoptosisis one of the ways the body rids itself of malfunctioning or malignant cells,such as those found in tumours.
The US researchers are trying to identify the signalling pathways that triggered the reaction.
The findings are being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting in San Diego, California.