Antitumor effects of herbal mixture extract in the pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line PANC1

Pyo June Pak, Beob Hwa Kang, Sung Hyo Park, Ji Hyun Sung, Yong Hoon Joo, Seung Hyun Jung, Namhyun Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A recent study showned that complementary medicine is gradually gaining wide acceptance. In the present study, the herbal mixture extract (H3) composed of 3 oriental herbal plants was investigated for anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. H3 inhibited PANC1 cell growth by promoting G0/G1 arrest (11% increase) and apoptotic cell death (9% increase). H3 also suppressed stem cell-like side population cells (4% decrease) and migration activity (24% decrease). In contrast, gemcitabine decreased side population cells and migration activity by 3 and 11%, respectively. These effects of H3 and gemcitabine were further studied by examining the expression of apoptosis-associated genes (CXCR4, JAK2 and XIAP) and stem cell-associated genes (ABCG2, POU5F1 and SOX2). We also found that H3 suppressed tumor growth by 46% in a PANC1-xenograft model, while gemcitabine caused a 36% decrease. The antitumor effects of H3 were confirmed by western blot analysis for COX-2 and cytochrome c expression. Furthermore, necrotic cell death and erythrocyte-containing cavities were detected in tumor tissue by hematoxylin and eosin (HandE) staining. Notably, the combinatorial therapy (H3 and gemcitabine) increased tumor growth compared to that in the control. In conclusion, the present study shows that H3 has promise as a therapeutic agent against pancreatic cancer and its cancer stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2875-2883
Number of pages9
JournalOncology reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov


  • Cancer stem cell
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Side population
  • Traditional medicinal herb
  • Xenograft model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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