-Gingerol improves doxorubicin anticancer activity and decreases its side effects in triple negative breast cancer models.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2020 Aug 6. Epub 2020 Aug 6. PMID: 32761561
Ana Carolina Baptista Moreno Martin
PURPOSE: Although doxorubicin is widely used to treat cancer, severe side effects limit its clinical use. Combination of standard chemotherapy with natural products can increase the efficacy and attenuate the side effects of current therapies. Here we studied the anticancer effects of a combined regimen comprising doxorubicin and -gingerol against triple-negative breast cancer, which does not respond to hormonal or targeted therapies.
METHODS: Cytotoxicity was evaluated by MTT assay, cell cycle progression and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry and signaling pathways were analyzed by Western blotting in human and murine triple negative breast cancer cell systems. The anticancer/antimetastatic and toxic effects of the combined regimen was evaluated using syngeneic and xenograft orthotopic models.
RESULTS: The combination of doxorubicin and -gingerol significantly increased the number of apoptotic cells, compared to each compound alone. In 4T1Br4 cells, the combined regimen was the only condition able to increase the levels of active caspase 3 andγH2AX and to decrease the level of Cdk-6 cyclin. In vivo, doxorubicin (3 mg/Kg, D3) and -gingerol (10 mg/Kg, G10) resulted in a significant reduction in the volume of primary tumors and a decrease in the number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Interestingly, only the combined regimen led to decreased tumor burdens to distant organs (i.e., metastasis) and reduced chemotherapy-induced weight loss and hepatotoxicity in tumor-bearing animals. Likewise, in a xenograft model, only the combined regimen was effective in significantly reducing the primary tumor volume and the prevalence of CTCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that -gingerol has potential to be used as a neoadjuvant or in combined therapy with doxorubicin, to improve its anticancer activity.