Purpose: The chronic nature of prostate cancer growth and progression leading to metastasis provides a large window for intervention. Herein, for the first time, we investigated the effect and associated mechanisms of silibinin phosphatidylcholine (silybin-phytosome) on established prostate tumors in transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) model.
Experimental design: Twenty-week-old TRAMP male mice having palpable prostate tumor were fed with control or 0.5% and 1%, w/w, silybin-phytosome diets for 11 weeks and then sacrificed.
Results: Dietary silibinin inhibited the growth of prostate tumors (up to 60%, P < 0.001) and suppressed tumor progression from prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia to differentiated adenocarcinoma and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, with a complete absence of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma at higher doses. It also inhibited the incidence of tumor invasion of seminal vesicle (up to 81%, P < 0.001) with complete absence of distant metastasis. Silibinin moderately inhibited tumor cell proliferation and induced apoptosis, but strongly suppressed tumor microvessel density (up to 60%, P < 0.001), vascular endothelial growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 expression. Antibody array analysis of plasma showed a decrease in the circulatory levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. Decreased levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), snail-1, and vimentin, and an increased level of E-cadherin were also observed, indicating the anti-epithelial-mesenchymal transition effect of silibinin in tumors.
Conclusions: Overall, silibinin treatment of TRAMP mice bearing prostate tumor inhibited tumor growth, progression, local invasion, and distant metastasis involving suppression of tumor angiogenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These findings would have greater relevance for the ongoing phase II clinical trial with silibinin-phytosome in prostate cancer patients.