Anticancer activities and mechanisms of Blumea balsamifera extract in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Research paper by Toshio T Norikura, Akiko A Kojima-Yuasa, Miki M Shimizu, Xuedan X Huang, Shenghui S Xu, Saeda S Kametani, Sook-Nyung SN Rho, David Opare DO Kennedy, Isao I Matsui-Yuasa

Indexed on: 07 May '08Published on: 07 May '08Published in: The American journal of Chinese medicine


Blumea balsamifera (also known as sambong), a medicinal plant, is known to improve physiological disorders such as rheumatism and hypertension. However, its anticancer activity has not been well elucidated. In this study, we found that Blumea balsamifera MeOH extract (BME) induced growth inhibitory activity in rat and human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (McA-RH7777, HepG2, respectively) without cytotoxicity as in with rat hepatocytes used as a normal cell model. BME induced cell cycle arrest at G1 phase via decreases in expression of cyclin-E and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma (Rb) protein in both dose- and time-dependent manners. Furthermore, BME reduced the level of a proliferation related ligand (APRIL) which stimulates tumor cell growth. The anti-proliferative effect of BME was improved slightly but significantly by the treatment with recombinant human APRIL. These findings suggest that BME may have a possible therapeutic potential in hepatoma cancer patients and the depletion of cellular APRIL may be one of the important mechanisms on the growth inhibitory effect of BME.