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J BUON. 2008 Apr-Jun;13(2):241-4.

Antiproliferative effect of synthetic lignin against human breast cancer and normal fetal lung cell lines. Potency of low molecular weight fractions.

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Institute of Oncology Sremska Kamenica, Sremska Kamenica, Serbia.



Due to a lack of chemotherapeutics to efficiently control neoplastic processes, there is a need for discovering new, more efficient anticancer drugs that would distinguish malignant from normal cells.


We studied the effect of short (4 h) and long (72 h) treatment with different concentrations of the enzymatically synthesized lignin model compound (DHP) on the proliferation of two human cell lines grown in tissue culture: breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) and normal fetal lung fibroblast (MRC5) cell lines.


The growth of both MRC5 and MCF7 cell lines was inhibited by DHP after 4 h-treatment, while the carcinoma cell line was also sensitive to the long-term treatment with lower dose of DHP in comparison with the fetal cells. The low molecular weight DHP fractions inhibited growth of the MRC5 cells at lower concentrations compared to the treatment with all DHP fractions.


The higher sensitivity to DHP of the human malignant cells compared to the normal transformed ones gives the possibility to further study DHP as a therapeutic agent.

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