Objective: Ex vivo activity of three products of alternative therapy against leukemic and normal cells was analyzed.
Material and methods: Extracts of Viscum album, Uncaria tomentosa, and Croton lechleri were used for the study. Leukemic cells of 53 children with acute leukemias and four cell lines, Jurkat, CCRF-CEM, HL-60, and K-562 were tested for sensitivity to alternative medicine remedies by the MTT assay, cell-cycle analysis and annexin-V binding assay.
Results: Leukemic cells showed high resistance to tested three compounds of alternative medicine in all performed assays. Additionally, tested remedies stimulated survival of leukemic cells in 45%, 96%, and 83% cases, respectively; while no effect was observed in normal lymphocytes. In combination studies, Viscum album extract did not increase prednisolone and cytarabine cytotoxicity in leukemic cells.
Conclusion: We conclude that some alternative medicine remedies might stimulate the viability of childhood leukemic cells.