Synergistic antitumor effects of tanshinone IIA and sorafenib or its derivative SC-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Onco Targets Ther. 2018 ;11:1777-1785. Epub 2018 Mar 29. PMID: 29636623
Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of hepatic malignancy in the world. We aimed to determine the effect of tanshinone IIA (Tan-IIA) in combination with sorafenib or its derivative SC-1 on cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and metastasis in human HCC cells.
Materials and methods: Cytotoxicity was detected by MTT assay. Apoptosis and sub-G1 populations were analyzed by flow cytometry. Cell migration and invasion were evaluated by Transwell assay. Protein expression was detected by Western blot.
Results: Tan-IIA combined with sorafenib or SC-1 exerted synergistic cytotoxicity in HCC cells. Elevated proportions of sub-G1 and caspase activation were observed in the combinative treatments; in addition, marked inhibition of cell migration and invasion, which could be mediated by the modulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition was observed. pSTAT3 levels were significantly reduced as well.
Conclusion: A combination therapy using Tan-IIA and sorafenib or SC-1 could be a promising approach to target HCC, and further preclinical investigations are warranted to establish their synergetic advantage.