The Antitumor Effects of Danggui on Malignant Brain Tumors

Updated: Mar 14

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), malignant gliomas, are highly vascularized and invasive neoplasms. Because the diffusely invasive properties of malignant gliomas make them nearly impossible to resect in toto, the standard treatment consists of surgery plus radiotherapy, eventually followed by chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is usually reserved for recurrent tumors already treated with surgery and radiotherapy, or for tumors in which surgery was partial or not feasible and the effect of radiotherapy was limited. Toxicity, drug resistance, the relative impermeability of the blood-brain barrier, and a limited and transient benefit in patients are the main problems associated with standard chemotherapy regimens.

In traditional Chinese medicine, dong quai (Angelica sinensis, also called danggui or tang-kuei) is indicated for menstrual disorders, including menopausal symptoms ; it has also been widely used for conditions such as gastric mucosal damage, hepatic injury, impaired myocardial blood blow, and chronic glomerulonephritis.

However, few studies have been made of possible antitumor effects of A. sinensis. The antitumor effect of a chloroform extract of A. sinensis (AS-C) on malignant brain tumors was examined in this study. The results revealed that the AS-C extract had the ability to inhibit the growth and induce apoptosis of GBM tumor through p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways. Thus, A. sinensis (Danggui) may be a good source to provide the potent compound against human GBM tumor.

In this study, human DBTRG-05MG and rat RG2 GBM tumor cells were injected s.c. or i.c. and were treated with AS-C. Effects on tumor growth were determined by tumor volume, magnetic resonance imaging, survival, and histology analysis.

The results showed that AS-C (Danggui) not only can suppress growths of malignant brain tumors of rat and human origin but also shrink the volumes of in situ GBM, significantly prolonging survivals.


Figure1. Suppression of human GBM tumors for the AS-C IP500 treatment group and the AS-C SC500 treatment group at day 40.

In conclusion, pronounced antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo suggests that AS-C (Danggui) has potent anticancer effects and causes both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The results of anti-GBM treatment with AS-C are significant, providing new hope for effective chemotherapy for such malignant brain tumors. This work may lead to new therapeutic options and improved understanding of the interaction of phytochemicals with gene regulation in brain cancer cells.


Reference:

Cancer Therapy: Preclinical The Antitumor Effects of Angelica sinensis on Malignant Brain Tumors In vitro and In vivo Nu-Man Tsai, Shinn-Zong Lin, Chau-Chin Lee, Shee-Ping Chen, Hsuan-Chi Su, Wen-Liang Chang and Horng-Jyh Harn.

DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-1827 Published May 2005


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