American Ginseng and Breast Cancer Therapeutic Agents

Synergistically inhibit MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Growth

J Surg Oncol 1999 Dec;72(4):230-9

Duda RB, Zhong Y, Navas V, Li MZ, Toy BR, Alavarez JG Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background and Objectives American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) purportedly alleviates menopause symptoms because of putative estrogenicity.

METHODS: Using a standardized American ginseng (AG) extract in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, the objectives were to evaluate the ability of AG to induce the estrogen- regulated gene pS2 by Northern blot analysis, determine the effect on cell growth using the MTT assay, and evaluate the cell cycle effects by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: AG and estradiol equivalently induced RNA expression of pS2. AG, in contrast to estradiol, caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell proliferation (P < 0.005). AG had no adverse effect on the cell cycle while estradiol significantly increased the proliferative phase (percent S-phase) and decreased the resting phase (G(0)-G(1) phase) (P < 0.005). Concurrent use of AG and breast cancer therapeutic agents resulted in a significant (P < 0.005) suppression of cell growth for most drugs evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: In vitro use of AG and breast cancer therapeutics synergistically inhibited cancer cell growth.

Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID: 10589039, UI: 20057888

Ann's NOTE: American Ginseng (AG) was shown to be estrogenic but NOT HARMFUL. In fact by itself it had NO bad effect on the cell cycle (cancer cell). When combined with "breast cancer therapeutic agents" (currently unspecified-I will search this out), it showed strong suppression of cell growth. This seems to mean that American Ginseng enhanced the action of these therapeutic agents.

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