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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 1;11(9):3475-84.

The antitumor effects of Angelica sinensis on malignant brain tumors in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Sciences, Buddhist Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, ROC.



In this study, we have examined the antitumor effects of chloroform extract of Angelica sinensis (AS-C), a traditional Chinese medicine, on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumors in vitro and in vivo.


In vitro, GBM cells were treated with AS-C, and the cell proliferation, changes in distributions of cell cycle, and apoptosis were determined. In vivo, human DBTRG-05MG and rat RG2 GBM tumor cells were injected s.c. or i.c. and were treated with AS-C. Effects on tumor growth were determined by tumor volume, magnetic resonance imaging, survival, and histology analysis.


The AS-C displays potency in suppressing growth of malignant brain tumor cells without cytotoxicity to fibroblasts. Growth suppression of malignant brain tumor cells by AS-C results from cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. AS-C can up-regulate expression of cdk inhibitors, including p21, to decrease phosphorylation of Rb proteins resulting in cell arrest at the G0-G1 phase for DBTRG-05MG and RG2 cells. The apoptosis-associated proteins are dramatically increased and activated in DBTRG-05MG cells and RG2 cells by AS-C but RG2 cells without p53 protein expression. In vitro results showed AS-C triggered both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways for apoptosis. In in vivo studies, AS-C not only can suppress growths of malignant brain tumors of rat and human origin but also shrink the volumes of in situ GBM, significantly prolonging survivals.


The in vitro and in vivo anticancer effects of AS-C indicate that it has sufficient potential to warrant further investigation and development as a new anti-brain tumor agent.

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