Combinatorial prevention of carcinogenic risk in a model for familial colon cancer

Oncol Rep. 2007 Apr;17(4):909-14.


Germ line mutations in the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, predispose for the clinical familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) syndrome, a high risk precursor for early onset colon cancer. Similar mutations in the murine homolog of the APC gene, however, produce adenomas predominantly in the small intestine, rather than in the colon. The objectives of the present study were: i) to develop a preclinical cell culture model for human FAP syndrome and ii) to validate this model as a rapid mechanism-based approach for evaluation of the preventive efficacy of combinations of synthetic pharmacological agents or naturally-occurring phytochemicals, for the risk of colon carcinogenesis. The clonally selected 850Min COL-Cl1 cell line derived from histologically normal colon of ApcMin/+ mouse exhibited aberrant proliferation (64.7% decrease in population doubling time, 820% increase in saturation density, and 81.4% decrease in spontaneous apoptosis), relative to that observed in the colon epithelial cell line C57 COL established from Apc [+/+] C57BL/6J mouse. In addition, unlike the Apc [+/+] C57 COL cells, the Apc mutant cells exhibited enhanced risk for spontaneous carcinogenic transformation as evidenced by 100% increase in anchorage-independent colony formation (C57 COL: 0/12; 850Min COL-Cl1: 12/12, mean colony number 23.6+/-2.7). Treatment of Apc mutant cells with low dose combination of select mechanistically distinct synthetic chemopreventive agents such as celecoxib (CLX) + difluoro methylornithine (DFMO), or naturally-occurring epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) + curcumin (CUR) produced 160-400% and 220-430% decrease in the viable cell number respectively, relative to these agents used independently. Furthermore, relative to independent agents, CLX+DFMO and EGCG+CUR combinations produced 31.5-82.1% and 45.9-105.4% greater reduction in the number of anchorage-independent colonies. Thus, aberrant proliferation and increased risk for carcinogenesis in the Apc mutant cells, and their susceptibility to low dose combinations of mechanistically distinct chemopreventive agents validate a rapid approach to prioritize efficacious combinations for long-term animal studies and future clinical trials on prevention of colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Precancerous Conditions / prevention & control*
  • Risk


  • Antineoplastic Agents