Effects of pterostilbene on melanoma alone and in synergy with inositol hexaphosphate

Am J Surg. 2009 Nov;198(5):679-84. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.07.014.


Background: Pterostilbene and inositol-6-phosphate (IP6) have been shown to inhibit melanoma growth in vitro. However, pterostilbene's mechanism of action has not been clearly demonstrated. We aimed to further investigate the mechanism of action for pterostilbene and to determine whether combination treatment with IP6 produced synergistic growth inhibition.

Methods: Melanoma cells were treated with increasing doses of pterostilbene, IP6, or combinations thereof. Cell viability was measured at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours using a MTT assay. Caspase activity and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t tests were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Pterostilbene inhibits melanoma growth in vitro in association with increased effector caspase activity. Combination treatment with inositol hexaphosphate produces synergistic growth inhibition, greater than either treatment alone.

Conclusions: Pterostilbene produces caspase-dependent apoptosis in melanoma cell lines. Combination treatment with IP6 produces synergistic growth inhibition. Both compounds have significant potential for a therapeutic role in the treatment of melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Survival
  • Colorimetry
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Phytic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pterocarpus
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology


  • Stilbenes
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • pterostilbene
  • Phytic Acid
  • Caspases