Inhibition of liver cancer cell proliferation and migration by a combination of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and ascorbic acid

J Chemother. 2003 Dec;15(6):591-5. doi: 10.1179/joc.2003.15.6.591.


A mixture of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and ascorbic acid exhibited 73.2% inhibition of SMMC-7721 cell proliferation in a soft agar colony formation assay, which was much higher than EGCG (40.4%) or ascorbic acid (12.4%) alone. In the cell migration assay, the mixture also significantly suppressed the migration of SMMC-7721 cells by 65.9% while EGCG and/or ascorbic acid did by 28.9% and 18.7%, respectively. Ascorbic acid was able to enhance the antioxidant activity of EGCG by decreasing the intracellular oxidative stress according to fluorographic analysis of oxidative stress. In conclusion, the combination of EGCG and ascorbic acid can strongly suppress the proliferation and metastasis of liver cancer cells, possibly with a mechanism associated with the scavenging of reactive oxygen species. All these events add to our knowledge of liver cancer chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Culture Media
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antioxidants
  • Culture Media
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Ascorbic Acid