Natural products have been used as sources of first-line cancer chemotherapeutic agents, including vinca alkaloids, taxanes, podophyllotoxin and camptothecin. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combinations (Fufang), which have been widely used in China for over 5000 years, are still poorly understood with regard to the types of cancer they are effective against as well as their mechanism of action. We report here on the use of patient-like orthotopic nude-mouse models of metastatic cancer and other mouse tumor models to obtain proof-of-concept that TCM (Fufang) combinations have anti-tumor and anti-metastatic activity. In the present study, human and mouse lung, pancreatic and prostate cancer cell lines (H460, Lewis lung carcinoma [LLC) MIA-PaCa-2 and PC-3, respectively), labeled with red fluorescent protein (RFP) or green fluorescent protein (GFP), were orthotopically implanted or injected subcutaneously, or injected in the tail vein in nude mice to evaluate anti-tumor and anti-metastatic efficacy of the Fufang LQ, which contains a mixture of herbs. Results showed that LQ (gavage, 600 mg/kg/day) significantly inhibited prostate, pancreatic and lung cancer tumor growth as measured by imaging, tumor size and weight, in both subcutaneous and metastatic models. LQ was efficacious against primary and metastatic cancer without weight loss in contrast to drugs such as doxorubicin and cisplatin, which caused significant weight loss. Survival of tumor-bearing mice was also prolonged by LQ treatment. Furthermore, in vitro experiments demonstrated that LQ inhibited proliferation of tumor cells (LLC, H460, PC-3 and MIA-PaCa-2) in a dose-dependent manner. Those results indicate that LQ has efficacy against metastatic pancreatic and lung and prostate cancer which demonstrates its clinical potential. The results also suggest that GFP- and RFP-expressing tumors in orthotopic and other nude mouse models can be widely used for in vivo evaluation of TCM.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 579.