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Open Access Research article

Teng-Long-Bu-Zhong-Tang, a Chinese herbal formula, enhances anticancer effects of 5 - Fluorouracil in CT26 colon carcinoma

Shan Deng12, Bing Hu12*, Hong-Mei An3, Qin Du12, Ling Xu12, Ke-Ping Shen1, Xiu-Feng Shi4, Meng-Meng Wei12 and Yang Wu5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, PR China

2 Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Oncology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, PR China

3 Department of Science & Technology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, PR China

4 Department of Pharmacy, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, PR China

5 State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Keyuan Fourth Road, Chengdu, Sichuan 610072, PR China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:128  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-128

Published: 8 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Colorectal cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has played a positive role in colorectal cancer treatment. There is a great need to establish effective herbal formula for colorectal cancer treatment. Based on TCM principles and clinical practices, we have established an eight herbs composed formula for colorectal cancer treatment, which is Teng-Long-Bu-Zhong-Tang (TLBZT). We have demonstrated the anticancer effects of TLBZT against colorectal carcinoma in vitro. In present study, we evaluated the anticancer potential of TLBZT, used alone or in combination with low dose of 5-Fluorouracil (5-Fu), in CT26 colon carcinoma in vivo.

Methods

CT26 colon carcinoma was established in BALB/c mice and treated with TLBZT, 5-Fu, or TLBZT plus 5-Fu. The tumor volumes were observed. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL assay. Caspases activities were detected by colorimetric assay. Cell senescence was indentified by senescence β-galactosidase staining. Gene expression and angiogenesis was observed by immunohistochemistry or western blot.

Results

TLBZT significantly inhibited CT26 colon carcinoma growth. TLBZT elicited apoptosis in CT26 colon carcinoma, accompanied by Caspase-3, 8, and 9 activation and PARP cleavage, and downregulation of XIAP and Survivin. TLBZT also induced cell senescence in CT26 colon carcinoma, with concomitant upregulation of p16 and p21 and downregulation of RB phosphorylation. In addition, angiogenesis and VEGF expression in CT26 colon carcinoma was significantly inhibited by TLBZT treatment. Furthermore, TLBZT significantly enhanced anticancer effects of 5-Fu in CT26 colon carcinoma.

Conclusions

TLBZT exhibited significantly anticancer effect, and enhanced the effects of 5-Fu in CT26 colon carcinoma, which may correlate with induction of apoptosis and cell senescence, and angiogenesis inhibition. The present study provides new insight into TCM approaches for colon cancer treatment that are worth of further study.

Keywords:
Colon carcinoma; Chinese herbal formula; Apoptosis; Cell senescence; Angiogenesis