β-Elemene promotes cisplatin-induced cell death in human bladder cancer and other carcinomas.
Anticancer Res. 2013 Apr ;33(4):1421-8. PMID: 23564782
Q Quentin Li
Cisplatin-based combination treatment is the most effective systemic chemotherapy for bladder cancer; however, resistance to cisplatin remains a significant problem in the treatment of this disease.β-Elemene is a new natural compound that blocks cell-cycle progression and has a broad spectrum of antitumor activity. This study was conducted to explore the potential of β-elemene as a chemosensitizer for enhancing the therapeutic efficacy and potency of cisplatin in bladder cancer and other solid carcinomas. β-Elemene not only markedly inhibited cell growth and proliferation but also substantially increased cisplatin cytotoxicity towards human bladder cancer 5637 and T-24 cells. Similarly, β-elemene also enhanced cisplatin sensitivity and augmented cisplatin cytotoxicity in small-cell lung cancer and carcinomas of the brain, breast, cervix, ovary, and colorectal tract in vitro, with dose-modifying factors ranging from 5 to 124. β-Elemene-enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity was associated with increased apoptotic cell death, as determined by DNA fragmentation, and increased activitiesof caspase-3, -7, -8, -9, and -10 in bladder cancer cell lines. Collectively, these results suggest that β-elemene augments the antitumor activity of cisplatin in human bladder cancer by enhancing the induction of cellular apoptosis via a caspase-dependent mechanism. Cisplatin combined with β-elemene as a chemosensitizer warrants further pre-clinical therapeutic studies and may be useful for the treatment of cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer and other types of carcinomas.