Washington, May 1 : A new study from Thammasat University has revealed that a combination of chemotherapeutic drugs with chemicals derived from plants can effectively inhibit cancer cell growth in lungs and liver.
Previous studies have shown that therapeutic drugs, doxorubicin and cisplatin, have harmful effects on health and can lead to the development of primary and secondary drug resistance in tumour cells, thereby limiting the clinical success of cancer chemotherapy.
The new study led by Khosit Pinmai evaluated the interaction of myrobalan extracts (from fruit bearing plants) with chemotherapeutic drugs on cancer cell growth by isobologram and the combination index (CI) method of Chou-Talalay.
The researchers found that emblic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan extracts were selectively toxic against two cancer cell lines and that in combination with doxorubicin and cisplatin produced an increased growth inhibitory effect in both liver and lung cancer cells.
When these synergistic drug combinations were used at corresponding dose levels, dose reduction index (DRI) showed possible reductions in doxorubicin concentrations for the drug combinations.
The dose reduction level was different and specific to each combination and cell line.
This suggested that the combination of plant extracts and chemotherapeutic agents lowered the dosage of the doxorubicin and cisplatin, while retaining the benefits but minimizing the cytotoxic effects and enhancing therapeutic efficacy.
However, the researchers believe that further studies are needed to understand the underlying mechanism clearly.
The report is published in World Journal of Gastroenterology.