Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective anti-cancer drug, but it's also a very toxic one, causing severe heart and immune damage. The doses needed to impact tumors are not well tolerated by patients, however, researchers may have found an answer through combination therapy. A study published in the journal Cell Biology International has shown that combining Dox with the natural supplement Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) increases the anti-cancer activity of Dox. This finding bodes well for prostate cancer patients, especially those too weak for normal chemotherapy regimens. Combination therapy may allow for lower doses of Dox with enhanced clinical impact and reduced toxicity.
The study, conducted by researchers at Tehran University, tested whether combining Dox with MCP would increase their effectiveness against prostate cancer cells in vitro. The team used two forms of prostate cancer: androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and androgen-independent (DU-145). The results were impressive, as the combination treatment reduced cancer cell viability by more than 67 percent in both types. Specifically, the researchers were looking at the cell cycle, the cell division process, and apoptosis—the programmed cell death mechanisms which destroy aberrant cells and are often impaired in cancers.
"This study demonstrates that modified citrus pectin enhances the cytotoxic effect of Doxorubicin in both androgen-dependent but more importantly in androgen-independent prostate cancer," said integrative medicine pioneer Isaac Eliaz, M.D., who developed the MCP used in the study. "This is especially important because prostate cancer patients who do not respond to hormone therapy and require chemotherapy are often the most in need of advanced treatments."
Androgen-dependent prostate cancer is often treated by depriving it of hormones. Androgen-independent prostate cancershttp://www.newswise.com/articles/edit/591513 no longer respond to hormone therapy, having developed new mechanisms to grow and thrive. The combination treatment worked against the androgen-dependent form by shutting down the cell cycle. The treatment killed the androgen-independent cells by boosting apoptosis.