Possible synergistic prostate cancer suppression by anatomically discrete pomegranate fractions

Invest New Drugs. 2005 Jan;23(1):11-20. doi: 10.1023/B:DRUG.0000047101.02178.07.


We investigated whether dissimilar biochemical fractions originating in anatomically discrete sections of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit might act synergistically against proliferation, metastatic potential, and phosholipase A2 (PLA2) expression of human prostate cancer cells in vitro . Proliferation of DU 145 human prostate cancer cells was measured following treatment with a range of therapeutically active doses of fermented pomegranate juice polyphenols (W) and sub-therapeutic doses of either pomegranate pericarp (peel) polyphenols (P) or pomegranate seed oil (Oil). Invasion across Matrigel by PC-3 human prostate cancer cells was measured following treatment with combinations of W, P and Oil such that the total gross weight of pomegranate extract was held constant. Expression of PLA2, associated with invasive potential, was measured in the PC-3 cells after treatment with the same dosage combinations as per invasion. Supra-additive, complementary and synergistic effects were proven in all models by the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric H test at p < 0.001 for the proliferation tests, p < 0.01 for invasion, and p < 0.05 for PLA2 expression. Proliferation effects were additionally evaluated with CompuSyn software median effect analysis and showed a concentration index CI < 1, confirming synergy. The results suggest vertical as well as the usual horizontal strategies for discovering pharmacological actives in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Synergism*
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Laminin / metabolism
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phospholipases A / metabolism
  • Phospholipases A2
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Drug Combinations
  • Flavonoids
  • Laminin
  • Phenols
  • Plant Oils
  • Polyphenols
  • Proteoglycans
  • matrigel
  • Collagen
  • Phospholipases A
  • Phospholipases A2