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Int J Oncol. 2017 Jun;50(6):2123-2135. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.3970. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

Carnosic acid and fisetin combination therapy enhances inhibition of lung cancer through apoptosis induction.

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Department of Respiration, Suqian People's Hospital, Xuzhou Medical University, Suqian, Jiangsu 223800, P.R. China.
Department of Respiration, Huai'an First People's Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Huai'an, Jiangsu 223300, P.R. China.


Carnosic acid is a phenolic diterpene with anti-inflammation, anticancer, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, as well as neuroprotective properties, which is generated by many species from Lamiaceae family. Fisetin (3,3',4',7-tetrahydroxyflavone), a naturally flavonoid is abundantly produced in different vegetables and fruits. Fisetin has been reported to have various positive biological effects, including anti-proliferative, anticancer, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. Lung cancer is reported as the most common neoplasm in human world-wide. In the present study, the possible benefits of carnosic acid combined with fisetin on lung cancer in vitro and in vivo was explored. Carnosic acid and fisetin combination led to apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Caspase-3 signaling pathway was promoted in carnosic acid and fisetin co-treatment, which was accompanied by anti-apoptotic proteins of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl decreasing and pro-apoptotic signals of Bax and Bad increasing. The death receptor (DR) of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) was enhanced in carnosic acid and fisetin combined treatment. Furthermore, the mouse xenograft model in vivo suggested that carnosic acid and fisetin combined treatment inhibited lung cancer growth in comparison to the carnosic acid or fisetin monotherapy. This study supplies a novel therapy to induce apoptosis to inhibit lung cancer through caspase-3 activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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