Pancreatic cancer is highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents, and therefore new therapeutic and chemopreventive agents are needed. In the present study we examined the effect of pomegranate extract (PE) on human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. We studied two human pancreatic cell lines, the aggressive AsPC line derived from pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and the slow growing PANC‐1 cell line derived from pancreatic epitheloid cell carcinoma. PE inhibits proliferation in both the cell lines in a concentration‐dependent manner, with an IC50 of 100 (both cell lines) µg per ml of culture medium. PE caused a concentration‐dependent cell cycle arrest in G2/M in AsPC cells. Higher concentrations of PE were cytotoxic to both cell lines, with an IC50 of 250 (AsPC) and 150 (PANC‐1) µg per ml of culture medium. There was a concentration‐dependent increase in caspase‐3 activity in both cell lines, suggesting that PE induces apoptosis. These results are the first demonstration of an inhibitory effect of PE on human pancreatic cancer cells, and suggest that PE holds promise for further development as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent against pancreatic cancer.

Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2010;3(1 Suppl):B68.