Will estrogenic Chinese herbal medicines promote breast cancer growth? — a preclinical study
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AbstractPhytoestrogens were believed to have beneficial effects for women’s health. Nevertheless, the potential risks of estrogenic botanicals consumption by breast cancer patients were also aroused over the years. Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) and CHM-containing cuisine are commonly consumed by breast cancer patients in Asia. The safe use of estrogenic CHM in breast cancer patients has long been a concern of Chinese medicine practitioners. The present study aimed to investigate the potential effects of estrogenic CHM on breast cancer using preclinical cell-based and tumor-bearing mouse models. Human breast cancer cells with different molecular subtypes, MDA-MB-361 (ER+, HER2+), MCF-7 (ER+, HER2-), SKBR3 (ER-, HER2+) and MDA-MB-231 (ER-, HER2-), were used to evaluate the effects of water extracts of selected estrogenic CHM, such as Astragalus membranaceus (AM), Cuscuta chinensis (CC), Dioscorea opposita (DO), Epimedium brevicornum (EB), Glycyrrhiza uralensis (GU), Ligusticum chuanxiong
(LC), Psoralea corylifolia (PC), Panax ginseng (PG) and Pueraria lobata (PL). The cells viability and proliferation were assessed by MTT and BrdU assays. The CHM with stimulatory activity was further evaluated for its effect on syngeneic breast tumor-bearing mice. Our results showed that CC, DO, LC, PC, PG (up to 6.4 mg/mL) could significantly increase cell viability of MDA-MB-361 cells, while DO also slightly increased cell viability and proliferation in MCF-7 and MDAMB-231 cells. Thus, Balb/c mice bearing 4T1 breast tumors were orally treated with DO extract (0.5 g/kg,
human equivalent dose) for 4 weeks. Results showed that there was no difference in tumor size between DO-treated and control groups. Interestingly, DO treatment was shown to modulate immune responses in tumor-bearing mice.
In conclusion, this study demonstrated the differential effects of selected estrogenic CHM on viability and proliferation of breast cancer cells. Among all those tested, only DO (commonly used in Chinese cuisine and herbal medicines) was found to increase breast cancer cell viability and proliferation. However, it did not promote the growth of breast tumor in immunocompetent mice. Further investigation on human breast cancer xenograft model may consolidate the findings and provide evidences for the safety use of DO in breast cancer patients.
All Author(s) ListYue GGL, Wong LS, Leung HW, Tsang JYS, Lin ZX, Tse GMK, Lau CBS
Name of ConferenceThe 17th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals
Start Date of Conference03/04/2017
End Date of Conference06/04/2017
Place of ConferenceMississippi
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2018-22-01 at 09:17