Natural products have become increasingly important in pharmaceutical discoveries, and traditional herbalism has been a pioneering specialty in biomedical science. The search for effective plant-derived anticancer agents has continued to gain momentum in recent years. The present study aimed to investigate the role of crude extracts of the aerial parts of Artemisia absinthium (AA) extract in modulating intracellular signaling mechanisms, in particular its ability to inhibit cell proliferation and promote apoptosis in a human breast carcinoma estrogenic-unresponsive cell line, MDA-MB-231, and an estrogenic-responsive cell line, MCF-7. Cells were incubated with various concentrations of AA, and anti-proliferative activity was assessed by MTT assays, fluorescence microscopy after propidium iodide staining, western blotting and cell cycle analysis. Cell survival assays indicated that AA was cytotoxic to both MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. The morphological features typical of nucleic staining and the accumulation of sub-G1 peak revealed that the extract triggered apoptosis. Treatment with 25 μg/mL AA resulted in activation of caspase-7 and upregulation of Bad in MCF-7 cells, while exposure to 20 μg/mL AA induced upregulation of Bcl-2 protein in a time-dependent response in MDA-MB-231 cells. Both MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 was inactivated in both cell lines after AA treatment in a time-dependent manner. These results suggest that AA-induced anti-proliferative effects on human breast cancer cells could possibly trigger apoptosis in both cell lines through the modulation of Bcl-2 family proteins and the MEK/ERK pathway. This might lead to its possible development as a therapeutic agent for breast cancer following further investigations.
Few studies have investigated the effects produced by combinations of polysaccharides and chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer treatment. We hypothesized that a combination of polysaccharides (COP) from Lentinus edodes and Tricholoma matsutake would improve the efficacy of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-mediated inhibition of H22 cell growth.
Mice were injected H22 cells and then treated with either 5-FU, polysaccharides from Tricholoma matsutake (PTM), polysaccharides from Lentinus edodes (PL), PTM+PL, 5-FU+PTM, 5-FU+ PL, or 5-FU + COP. The tumor weight and volume, and splenic CD4 + and CD8 + T cell frequencies, were determined. Additionally, splenic natural killer (NK) cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activities were assessed and the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), Interleukin-2 (IL-2), and Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were measured.
Compared with mice from the control, 5-FU, PL, PTM, PTM + PL, 5-FU + PL, and 5-FU + PTM groups, mice treated with 5-FU + COP showed: (a) significantly reduced tumor weight and volume (P < 0.05); (b) significantly higher serum levels of TNF-alpha, IL-2, and IFN-gamma (P < 0.05); (c) significantly increased CD4+ and CD8+ T cell frequencies in the spleen (P < 0.05); and (d) significantly increased splenic NK cell and CTL activities (P < 0.05). The tumor weight and volume in mice treated with 5-FU+PL or 5-FU+PTM were significantly reduced compared with mice treated with 5-FU alone (P < 0.05). Serum levels of TNF-alpha, IL-2, and IFN-gamma, frequencies of CD4 + and CD8+ T cells in the spleen, and splenic NK and CTL activities were also significantly increased in mice treated with 5-FU+PL or 5-FU+PTM compared with mice treated with 5-FU alone (P < 0.05).
Polysaccharides from Lentinus edodes and Tricholoma matsutake could enhance the efficacy of 5-FU-mediated H22 cell growth inhibition.
Women who drank at least two cups of tea a day had a lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who did not drink tea, according to a study in the December 12/26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Evidence from laboratory studies indicates that green and black tea preparations may protect against various cancers. But few epidemiological studies have examined the relationship specifically between tea consumption and the risk of ovarian cancer, according to background information in the article.
Susanna C. Larsson, M.Sc., and Alicja Wolk, D.M.Sc., of the National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, prospectively examined the association between tea consumption and the risk of ovarian cancer in 61,057 women, aged 40 to 76, who were participants in the population-based Swedish Mammography Cohort. Participants completed a validated 67-item food frequency questionnaire at enrollment between 1987 and 1990, and were followed for cancer incidence through December 2004. At baseline, 68 percent of the participants reported drinking tea (mainly black tea) at least once per month. During an average follow-up of 15.1 years, 301 women were diagnosed as having invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.
"We observed a 46 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer in women who drank two or more cups of tea per day compared with non-drinkers," the authors report. "Each additional cup of tea per day was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer."
Women who drank less than one cup of tea per day had an 18 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer than non-drinkers. The risk was 24 percent lower for women who drank one cup of tea per day.
"This association does not depend on lower coffee consumption among women with high tea consumption; coffee is not associated with ovarian cancer risk in this cohort," the authors write.
"In summary, our results from a large population-based cohort of Swedish women suggest that tea consumption may lower the risk of ovarian cancer," the authors conclude. "Because prospective data on this relationship are scarce, our findings need confirmation by future studies."
(Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2683-2686. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor's Note: This work was supported by research grants from the Swedish Cancer Foundation and the Swedish Research Council/Longitudinal Studies, Stockholm, Sweden.
Risk of ovarian cancer, according to background information in the article.
AIM: To investigate biological prevention with flavonoids the recurrence risk of neoplasia was studied in patients with resected colorectal cancer and after adenoma polypectomy.
METHODS: Eighty-seven patients, 36 patients with resected colon cancer and 51 patients after polypectomy, were divided into 2 groups: one group was treated with a flavonoid mixture (daily standard dose 20 mg apigenin and 20 mg epigallocathechin-gallat, n = 31) and compared with a matched control group (n = 56). Both groups were observed for 3-4 years by surveillance colonoscopy and by questionnaire.
RESULTS: Of 87 patients enrolled in this study, 36 had resected colon cancer and 29 of these patients had surveillance colonoscopy. Among the flavonoid-treated patients with resected colon cancer (n = 14), there was no cancer recurrence and one adenoma developed. In contrast the cancer recurrence rate of the 15 matched untreated controls was 20% (3 of 15) and adenomas evolved in 4 of those patients (27%). The combined recurrence rate for neoplasia was 7% (1 of 14) in the treated patients and 47% (7 of 15) in the controls (P = 0.027).
CONCLUSION: Sustained long-term treatment with a flavonoid mixture could reduce the recurrence rate of colon neoplasia in patients with resected colon cancer.
Prevention of cardiovascular disease through nutritional supplements is growing in popularity throughout the world. Multiple epidemiologic studies found that moderate consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, lowers mortality rates from coronary heart diseases (CHD). Chronic inflammation and atherosclerosis associated with CHD culminate in aberrant intravascular expression of tissue factor (TF), which triggers blood coagulation leading to thrombosis, a major cause for heart attack. We showed earlier that two red wine phenolics, resveratrol and quercetin, suppressed TF induction in endothelial cells. In the present study, we investigated efficacy of seven resveratrol derivatives, which were shown to be effective in regulating cancer cell growth in vitro at much lower concentrations than the parent compound resveratrol, in inhibiting TF induction in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We also tested possible synergistic effects of resveratrol and quercetin with the other major red wine phenolics in suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced TF expression in human PBMCs. We found that several resveratrol derivatives were 2- to 10-fold more efficient than resveratrol in inhibiting TF induction. Our study found no evidence for synergism among red wine polyphenolics. These data suggest that structural alterations of resveratrol can be effective in producing potent antithrombotic agents that will have therapeutic potential in the improvement of cardiovascular health and prevention of CHD. Among major red wine phenolics, quercetin appears to be the predominant suppressor of TF induction.