Taxol synergizes with antioxidants in inhibiting hormal refractory prostate cancer cell growth

Urol Oncol. 2010 Mar-Apr;28(2):170-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Sep 24.


Taxanes are chemotherapeutic agents commonly used to treat various carcinomas. Dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin E, green tea extracts, and isoflavones have been used against prostate cancer, and exhibit anticancer effects both in vitro and in vivo. We evaluated the combined effect of taxol (paclitaxel) with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, vitamin E, epigallocatechin gallate, and genistein in killing hormone-refractory prostate cancer cells. Those agents were tested on the hormone-refractory prostate cancer cell line PC-3, and the viability of the cells was determined using MTT {3 (4, 5-dimethylthiazo-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium} assay after drug treatment. PC-3 cells were sensitive to these drugs with 50% inhibitory concentrations of 0.1, 23, 220, 1122, and 260 microM, for taxol, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, epigallocatechin gallate, genistein, and vitamin E, respectively. Genistein, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, and epigallocatechin gallate showed synergistic cytotoxicity to PC-3 cells when combined with 0.01 microM taxol. Only high concentration of vitamin E showed a synergistic effect with this dose of taxol. Further study revealed that 3 combinations could induce sub-G1 phase of cell cycle, induce apoptosis, and increase caspase activity and decrease Bcl-2 expression simultaneously. In conclusion, in addition to vitamin E, incorporation of these antioxidants with taxan-based cytotoxic therapies offers encouraging strategies for combating hormone-refractory prostate cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Drug Synergism
  • Genistein / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Male
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pyrrolidines / administration & dosage
  • Thiocarbamates / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Thiocarbamates
  • Vitamin E
  • pyrrolidine dithiocarbamic acid
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Genistein
  • Paclitaxel