Author(s): Fong MY, Jin S, Rane M, Singh RK, Gupta R,
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Abstract Application of doxorubicin (Dox) for the treatment of cancer is restricted due to its severe side effects. We used combination strategy by combining doxorubicin (Dox) with withaferin A (WFA) to minimize the ill effects of Dox. Treatment of various epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines (A2780, A2780/CP70 and CaOV3) with combination of WFA and Dox (WFA/DOX) showed a time- and dose-dependent synergistic effect on inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of cell death, thus reducing the dosage requirement of Dox. Combination treatment resulted in a significant enhancement of ROS production resulting in immense DNA damage, induction of autophagy analyzed by transmission electron microscope and increase in expression of autophagy marker LC3B, and culminated in cell death analyzed by cleaved caspase 3. We validated combination therapy on tumor growth using an in vitro 3Dimension (3D) tumor model and the more classic in vivo xenograft model of ovarian cancer. Both tumor models showed a 70 to 80\% reduction in tumor growth compared to control or animals treated with WFA or Dox alone. Immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor tissues from animals treated with WFA/Dox combination showed a significant reduction in cell proliferation and formation of microvessels accompanied by increased in LC3B level, cleaved caspase 3, and DNA damage. Taken together, our data suggest that combining WFA with Dox decreases the dosage requirement of Dox, therefore, minimizing/eliminating the severe side effects associated with high doses of DOX, suggesting the application of this combination strategy for the treatment of ovarian and other cancers with no or minimum side effects.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals