Impressive Suppression of Colon Cancer Growth by Triple Combination SN38/EF24/Melatonin: "Oncogenic" Versus "Onco-Suppressive" Reactive Oxygen Species

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Published on Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM: The study aimed to investigate the effect of multi-targeted combinations (SN38/EF24; SN38/EF24/melatonin) on the growth of colon cancer in experimental animals and their impact on the ratio "oncogenic"/"onco-suppressive" reactive oxygen species (ROS) - a crucial factor for triggering carcinogenesis, as well as for development of effective therapeutic strategies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The experiments were conducted on colon cancer-grafted mice - non-treated, SN38/EF24-treated and SN38/EF24/melatonin-treated within 22 days. The balance between different types of ROS was measured in vivo by nitroxide-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as on isolated tissue specimens by conventional analytical tests.

RESULTS: Both combinations significantly suppressed the tumor growth. Impressive anticancer effect was observed in SN38/EF24/melatonin-treated mice - almost complete destruction of the tumor. Both types of ROS (superoxide and hydroperoxides) were elevated in cancer, but the MRI data suggest that the ratio between them tends towards superoxide. SN38/EF24 decreased the level of superoxide, but did not affect the level of hydroperoxides in the cancerous tissue, while SN38/EF24/melatonin decreased the level of superoxide below the control and increased significantly the level of hydroperoxides.

CONCLUSION: The most important observations are that: (i) colon cancer was characterized by a vicious cycle, that ensures a permanent domination of "oncogenic" ROS (as superoxide) over "onco-suppressive" ROS (as hydrogen peroxide); (ii) the anticancer effect of the triple combination EF24/SN38/melatonin was accompanied by decreasing "oncogenic" and increasing "onco-suppressive" ROS; (iii) the ratio between both types of ROS could be a new onco-target for combined therapy; and (iv) nitroxide-enhanced MRI is a valuable tool for analyzing of this ratio.

 

 

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