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Eur J Cancer. 2014 May;50(7):1391-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Frondoside A enhances the antiproliferative effects of gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates; Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • 2Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
  • 3Department of Physiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
  • 4Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
  • 5Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • 6Coastside Bio Resources, Stonington, Maine, USA.
  • 7Department of Physiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address: tadrian@uaeu.ac.ae.

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer has a very poor prognosis. While gemcitabine is the mainstay of therapy and improves quality of life, it has little impact on survival. More effective treatments are desperately needed for this disease. Frondoside A is a triterpenoid glycoside isolated from the Atlantic sea cucumber, Cucumaria frondosa. Frondoside A potently inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth and induces apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether frondoside A could enhance the anti-cancer effects of gemcitabine. Effects of frondoside A and gemcitabine alone and in combination on proliferation were investigated in two human pancreatic cancer cell lines, AsPC-1 and S2013. To investigate possible synergistic effects, combinations of low concentrations of the two drugs were used for a 72 h treatment period in vitro. Growth inhibition was significantly greater with the drug combinations than their additive effects. Combinations of frondoside A and gemcitabine were tested in vivo using the athymic mouse model. Xenografts of AsPC-1 and S2013 cells were allowed to form tumours prior to treatment with the drugs alone or in combination for 30 days. Tumours grew rapidly in placebo-treated animals. Tumour growth was significantly reduced in all treatment groups. At the lowest dose tested, gemcitabine (4 mg/kg/dose), combined with frondoside A (100 μg/kg/day) was significantly more effective than with either drug alone. To conclude: The present data suggest that combinations of frondoside A and gemcitabine may provide clinical benefit for patients with pancreatic cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Frondoside A; Gemcitabine; Pancreatic cancer

PMID:
24462376
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejca.2014.01.002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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