Effects of somatostatin, curcumin, and quercetin on the fatty acid profile of breast cancer cell membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation)

Published on Monday, 14 September 2020


Breast cancer is a worldwide commonly found malignancy in women and effective treatment is regarded as a huge clinical challenge even in the presence of several treatment options.

Extensive literature is available demonstrating polyphenols as phytopharmaceutical anticancer agents.

Among the polyphenols, quercetin and curcumin have been reported to have a strong potential against breast cancer. However, so far, no comprehensive study has been performed to demonstrate the anticarcinogenic effects of curcumin, quercetin, and their combinations with somatostatin on the fatty acid profile of breast cancer cell membranes.

We used MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells incubated with curcumin and quercetin for 24 h, in the absence and presence of somatostatin, at their EC50 concentrations to evaluate membrane fatty acid based functional lipidomics together with the followup of EGFR and MAPK signaling pathways.

The two cell lines gave different membrane free fatty acid reorganization. In MCF-7 cells, the following changes were observed: an increase of ω6 linoleic acid in the cells incubated with somatostatin + quercetin and quercetin and a decrease of ω3 acids in the cells incubated with somatostatin + curcumin compared to somatostatin and significant increases of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), mono-trans arachidonic acid levels and docosapentaenoic acid for the cells incubated with somatostatin + quercetin compared to the control cells. In MDA-MB231 cells, incubations with curcumin, quercetin, and somatostatin + quercetin induced the most significant membrane remodeling with the increase of stearic acid, diminution of ω6 linoleic, arachidonic acids, and ω3 (docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids).

Distinct signaling pathway changes were found for these cell lines. In MCF-7 cells, separate or combined incubations with somatostatin and quercetin, significantly decreased EGFR and incubation with curcumin decreased MAPK signaling. In MDA-MB231 cells, incubation with curcumin decreased AKT1 and p-AKT1 (Thr308) levels. Incubation with curcumin and quercetin decreased the EGFR levels.

Our results showed that cytostatic and antioxidant treatments can be combined to induce membrane fatty acid changes, including lipid isomerization as specific free radical driven process, and to influence signaling pathways.

This study aimed to contribute to the literature on these antioxidants in the treatment of breast cancer to clarify the effects and mechanisms in combination with somatostatin.


NOTE:This project has received support from Di Bella Foundation's.

About this publication.

See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;


- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, Sandostatin LAR, analogues and/or derivatives);

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Publication, 2018 Jul: Over-Expression of GH/GHR in Breast Cancer and Oncosuppressor Role of Somatostatin as a Physiological Inhibitor (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2018 Sep: The over-expression of GH/GHR in tumour tissues with respect to healthy ones confirms its oncogenic role and the consequent oncosuppressor role of its physiological inhibitor, somatostatin: a review of the literature (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Aug: The Entrapment of Somatostatin in a Lipid Formulation: Retarded Release and Free Radical Reactivity (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of Somatostatin and Vitamin C on the Fatty Acid Profile of Breast Cancer Cell Membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Bromocriptine and/or Cabergoline);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide 50mg tablets and/or Hydroxyurea 500mg tablets, one or two per day);

- The Di Bella Method (A Variable Part - Omega 3 Essential/Unsaturated Fatty Acids. From 1.5 grams up to 3.0 grams per day orally);


- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature.