Rigorous and systematic pre-clinical studies are necessary and essential to establish the efficacy and safety of Oriental herbs and formulas in order to transform traditional herbal practices into evidence-based medicine. Here we evaluated the anti-cancer activities of the ethanol extract of Ka-mi-kae-kyuk-tang (KMKKT), a formula of ten Oriental herbs, with a battery of in vitro and in vivo mechanism-based biomarkers involving angiogenesis, apoptosis and metastasis. The results show that KMKKT suppressed the vascular endothelial responses by inhibiting basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation, cell migration as well as tube formation in the human umbilical vein endothelial cell model, and decreased the hypoxia-induced HIF1α and vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in the mouse Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells in vitro, and inhibited the bFGF-induced angiogenesis in chick chorioallantoic membrane model, and in the Matrigel plugs in mice. Intraperitoneal delivery of KMKKT potently inhibited the growth of the subcutaneously inoculated LLC cells in syngenic mice. In addition, KMKKT inhibited the invasion ability of the mouse colon 26-L5 cancer cells in vitro and decreased their formation of liver metastasis when intraportally inoculated in syngenic mice. Furthermore, KMKKT suppressed the growth of the human PC-3 prostate cancer xenografts in athymic nude mice and averted the cancer-related body weight loss. The in vivo cancer growth suppression was associated with a decreased microvessel density and VEGF abundance as well as an increased PARP cleavage and the TUNEL-positive apoptosis. Together, our data support broad-spectra in vivo anti-cancer activities of KMKKT targeting angiogenesis, apoptosis and metastasis without any adverse effect on the body weight. This formula merits serious consideration for further evaluation for the chemoprevention and treatment of cancers of multiple organ sites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research