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Oncol Rep. 2013 Jun;29(6):2219-26. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2367. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Christia vespertilionis plant extracts as novel antiproliferative agent against human neuroendocrine tumor cells.

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  • 1Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


Neuroendocrine tumors respond poorly to radiation and conventional chemotherapy, hence surgical removal of the neoplastic tissue is still the most effective way of treatment. In an attempt to find new therapeutic plant extracts of Christia vespertilionis (CV) their antitumor potential in human medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and human small intestinal neuroendocrine tumor (SI-NET) cell lines were tested. Proliferation and viability were analyzed using cell counting and WST-1 assay. Apoptosis was determined by microscopy, luminescence assays for caspases 3/7, and expression studies of apoptosis-related genes. CV extracts showed antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in all MTC and SI-NET cell lines, whereby high growth inhibition was observed by treatment with the ethylacetate-extracts (CV-45) in tumor cell lines but not in normal human fibroblasts. Furthermore CV-45 treatment resulted in alterations of gene expression of PDCD5, MTDH and TNFRSF10b in MTC as well as in SI-NET cells. The results indicate that Christia vespertilionis could serve as an anticancer therapeutic for treatment of neuroendocrine tumors.

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