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Oncol Rep. 2013 Apr;29(4):1671-7. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2276. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

The molecular mechanism of action of aspirin, curcumin and sulforaphane combinations in the chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, USA.


Pancreatic cancer ranks as the fourth most deadly form of cancer in the United States with ~37,000 deaths each year. The present study evaluated the chemopreventive potential of a combination of aspirin (ASP), curcumin (CUR) and sulforaphane (SFN) in low doses to human pancreatic cancer cells, MIA PaCa-2 and Panc-1. Results demonstrated that low doses of ASP (1 mM), CUR (10 µM) and SFN (5 µM) (ACS) combination reduced cell viability by ~70% (P<0.001), and also induced cell apoptosis by ~51% (P<0.001) accompanied by activation of caspase-3 and Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) proteins. The NF-κB DNA binding activity was inhi-bited by ~45% (P<0.01) and ~75% (P<0.001) in MIA PaCa-2 and Panc-1 cells, respectively. Mechanistic studies revealed that ACS promoted increase expression of phospho extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (P-ERK1/2), c-Jun, p38 MAPK and p53 proteins. Furthermore, the cells pretreated with U0126 (ERK1/2 inhibitor) partially abolished the effect of ACS on cell viability. Data from this study demonstrate that a low-dose ACS combination inhibits cell growth by inducing cell apoptosis, and proposes sustained activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway as one of the possible mechanisms.

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