The major drawback of chemotherapy regimens for treating cancer is that the cancerous cells acquire drug resistance and become impervious to further dose escalation. Keeping in mind the studied success of herbal formulations with regard to alternative treatments for cancer, we hypothesized that the use of a chemotherapeutic drug and proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, would combat this phenomenon when administered with common chemotherapeutic drug 5FU. Results demonstrated a cooperative effect between HF1 and 5FU on the drug resistant cell line, implying that administration of HF1 with 5FU results in cell death as measured by MTT assay.
Acquired drug resistance is an increasing challenge in treating cancer with chemotherapy. One mechanism
behind this resistance is the increased inflammation that supports the progression and development of
cancer that arises because of the drug’s presence. Integrative oncology is the field that focuses on including natural products alongside traditional therapy to create a treatment that focuses on holistic patient well-being.
In this study, the authors demonstrate that the use of an herbal formulation, consisting of turmeric and green tea, alongside a traditional chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil (FU) significantly decreases the level of cytokines produced in breast cancer cells when compared to the levels produced when exposed solely to the chemo drug. The authors conclude that this combination of treatment, based on the principle of integrative oncology, shows potential for reducing the resistance against treatment conferred through increased inflammation. Consequently, this suggests a prospective way forward in improving the efficacy of cancer treatment.
Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.
In this work, the authors compared the effects of common natural products, including sesame, cinnamon, garlic, moringa and turmeric on tumor growth in Drosophila eyes. The data showed that these natural products cannot be used to reduce tumor growth once it has completely formed. However, the data suggested that some natural products can reduce cancer cell growth when tumors are treated early.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with a 10% 5-year survival rate. The authors studied various dosages of TPEN and zinc in combination with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine as treatments to reduce cell proliferation. Results showed that when combined with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine, zinc and TPEN both significantly lowered cell proliferation compared to Gemcitabine, suggesting a synergistic effect that resulted in a more cytotoxic treatment. Further research and clinical trials on this topic are needed to determine whether this could be a viable treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Kashyap Jha et al. look at the formulation of MAT20, a crude extract of the moringa, amla, and tulsi leaves, as a potential complementary and alternative medicine. Using HeLa cells, they find MAT20 up-regulates expression of inflammation and cell cytotoxicity markers. Their data is important for understanding the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of MAT20.
In this study, the authors investigate whether a new compound has anti-cancer properties. Using the crude extract from the Amaranthus spinosus plant, HeLa cancer cells were assessed for cell death. Findings reveal that the extract (AS20) has cytotoxic effects on HeLa cells. Their findings introduce a new compound to potentially pursue in the hunt for novel cancer treatments.
Luteolin (3′,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a flavonoid that occurs in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Research suggests that luteolin is effective against various forms of cancer by triggering apoptosis pathways. This experiment analyzes the effects of luteolin on the cell viability of malignant melanoma cells using an in vitro experiment to research alternative melanoma treatments and hopefully to help further cancer research as a whole.
Inefficient penetration of cancer drugs into the interior of the three-dimensional (3D) tumor tissue limits drugs' delivery. The authors hypothesized that the addition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) would increase the permeability of the drug doxorubicin for efficient drug penetration. They found that 1 mM PLA2 had the highest permeability. Increased efficiency in drug delivery would allow lower concentrations of drugs to be used, minimizing damage to normal cells.