The effects of heparin on DLD-1 colon cancer cell line

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2009;110(1):3-6.


Background: Patients with cancer are frequently treated with anticoagulants, including heparin, to prevent or to treat the deep vein thrombosis. It has been indicated that heparin affects the survival of patients with cancer. Also, the apoptotic and antiproliferative effects of heparin on some cancers has been demonstrated. Experimental studies support the hypothesis that cancer progression can be influenced by heparin, but the results of these studies are not conclusive.

Objectives: We planned to investigate the effects of different concentrations of heparin in the colon cancer cell line DLD-1.

Methods: This study was done by the addition of heparin in different doses into colon cancer cell line DLD-1 in vitro. After an incubation period of 72 hours, study and control groups were evaluated for viable cell count, percentage of proliferating index and apopitosis percentage.

Results: The result of the viable cell count in the second and third study groups (98.35+/-27.3, 97.23+/-39.38) were low compared to the control group. The results of the proliferative index of study groups (46.47+/-10.44, 47.23+/-12.03, 45.55+/-14.2) were higher than the control group (40.62+/-9.28). The results of apoptosis in study groups (14.35+/-1.93, 16.47+/-7.25, 13.56+/-5.66) were lower compared to the control group (22.17+/-15.9). But these results were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Heparin has no significant anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects on colon cancer cells in vitro. Therefore, for clinical applications, more advanced studies are needed to examine the effect of heparin on colon cancer (Tab. 3, Fig. 3, Ref. 25). Full Text (Free, PDF)

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Heparin / pharmacology*
  • Humans


  • Anticoagulants
  • Heparin