Flaxseed Lignans Enhance the Cytotoxicity of Chemotherapeutic Agents against Breast Cancer Cell Lines MDA-MB-231 and SKBR3.
Nutr Cancer. 2018 Feb-Mar;70(2):306-315. Epub 2018 Jan 5. PMID: 29303360
Systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the mainstay of metastatic breast cancer; however, prognosis and overall survival is unfavorable due to inadequate treatment response and/or unacceptable toxicity. Natural compounds and their active metabolites receive increasing attention as possible adjuvant therapy with cancer chemotherapeutics to improve treatment response, survival rates, and quality of life of breast cancer patients. This study investigated the combination of flaxseed lignans (Secoisolariciresinol and Enterolactone) with classic chemotherapeutic agents (Docetaxel, Doxorubicin, and Carboplatin) with different mechanisms of action to determine whether flaxseed lignans could enhance the cytotoxic effect of such drugs in the metastatic breast cancer cell lines, SKBR3 and MDA-MB-231. The experimental data suggests that flaxseed lignans significantly enhanced the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to cause cytotoxicity in SKBR3 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. A three compound combination study found that enterolactone and metformin together in combination with relatively low concentrations of chemotherapeutic drugs were able to significantly decrease cancer cell viability, compared to low concentrations of the individual chemotherapeutic drug alone. Our in vitro evaluation suggests a future direction in improving chemotherapeutic efficacy in breast cancer by adjuvant therapy with the flaxseed lignans.