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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(12):6327-32.

Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis by the combination of β-carotene and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in human esophageal cancer EC9706 cells.

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Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Engineering of Ministry of Education, and Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.


Esophageal cancer is a common malignant tumor occurring in human esophageal epithelial tissue. The primary purpose of this paper was to define the effects of β-carotene and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, alone and in combination, on cell proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis of human esophageal cancer EC9706 cells. Treatment with different concentrations of β-carotene and/or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. MTT assay showed that β-carotene and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 significantly inhibited proliferation of EC9706 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Further studies also demonstrated that β-carotene alone or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 alone caused a marked increase on the induction of apoptosis in EC9706 cells. The percentage of G0/G1-phase cells significantly increased on addition of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 alone, but there were no significant changes with β-carotene alone. These two agents in combination synergistically inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis. Therefore, our results indicate that β-carotene and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in combination may provide a novel strategy for preventing and treating esophageal cancer.

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