Synergistic effect of low-dose cucurbitacin B and low-dose methotrexate for treatment of human osteosarcoma.
Cancer Lett. 2011 Jul 28 ;306(2):161-70. Epub 2011 Mar 26. PMID: 21440986
Dhong Hyun Lee
We investigated the use of cucurbitacin B, a plant-derived tetracyclic triterpenoid, as a single agent or in combination with methotrexate (MTX) for human osteosarcoma (OS) treatment. Cucurbitacin B showed antiproliferative activity against seven human OS cell lines in vitro accompanying G2/M cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and inhibition of ERK, Akt, and mTOR proteins. Cucurbitacin B in combination with MTX synergistically inhibited OS cell growth in vitro. Low-dose cucurbitacin B (LD-CuB, 0.5 mg/kg body weight) or low-dose MTX (LD-MTX, 150 mg/kg) failed to decrease the size of human OS xenografts in nude mice. However, combined therapy at identical concentrations inhibited tumor growth by 62% vs. LD-CuB and 81% vs. LD-MTX (p<0.001). Strikingly, the effect persisted even when the dose of MTX was decreased by two thirds (VLD-MTX, 50 mg/kg). In conclusion, cucurbitacin B alone or in combination with MTX shows promising antiproliferative activity against human OS.