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Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1677; doi:10.3390/molecules21121677

The Traditional Chinese Medicine DangguiBuxue Tang Sensitizes Colorectal Cancer Cells to Chemoradiotherapy

1
Department of Chinese Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taipei Branch, New Taipei City 23142, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Chinese Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
3
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
4
Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
5
Department of Medical Research, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei 25160, Taiwan
6
Department of Research, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taipei Branch, New Taipei City 23141, Taiwan
7
School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, and Research Center for Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
8
Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
9
Department of Radiation Oncology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei 25160, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pinarosa Avato, Baodong Zheng and Jianbo Xiao
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract

Chemotherapy is an important treatment modality for colon cancer, and concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CCRT) is the preferred treatment route for patients with stage II and III rectal cancer. We examined whether DangguiBuxue Tang (DBT), a traditional Chinese herbal extract, sensitizes colorectal cancer cells to anticancer treatments. The polysaccharide-depleted fraction of DBT (DBT-PD) contains greater amounts of astragaloside IV (312.626 µg/g) and ferulic acid (1.404 µg/g) than does the original formula. Treatment of the murine colon carcinoma cell line (CT26) with DBT-PD inhibits growth, whereas treatment with comparable amounts of purified astragaloside IV and ferulic acid showed no significant effect. Concurrent treatment with DBT-PD increases the growth inhibitory effect of 5-fluorouracil up to 4.39-fold. DBT-PD enhances the effect of radiation therapy (RT) with a sensitizer enhancement ratio (SER) of up to 1.3. It also increases the therapeutic effect of CCRT on CT26 cells. Cells treated with DBP-PD showed ultrastructural changes characteristic of autophagy, including multiple cytoplasmic vacuoles with double-layered membranes, vacuoles containing remnants of degraded organelles, marked swelling and vacuolization of mitochondria, and autolysosome-like vacuoles. We conclude that DBT-PD induces autophagy-associated cell death in CT26 cells, and may have potential as a chemotherapy or radiotherapy sensitizer in colorectal cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: DangguiBuxue Tang; colorectal cancer; chemotherapy; radiotherapy DangguiBuxue Tang; colorectal cancer; chemotherapy; radiotherapy
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Chen, S.-T.; Lee, T.-Y.; Tsai, T.-H.; Lin, Y.-C.; Lin, C.-P.; Shieh, H.-R.; Hsu, M.-L.; Chi, C.-W.; Lee, M.-C.; Chang, H.-H.; Chen, Y.-J. The Traditional Chinese Medicine DangguiBuxue Tang Sensitizes Colorectal Cancer Cells to Chemoradiotherapy. Molecules 2016, 21, 1677.

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