Polysaccharide of Cordyceps sinensis enhances cisplatin cytotoxicity in non-small cell lung cancer H157 cell line

Integr Cancer Ther. 2011 Dec;10(4):359-67. doi: 10.1177/1534735410392573. Epub 2011 Mar 7.


Background and objective: The extracts of Cordyceps sinensis (Berk) Sacc (CS) have been used as a traditional medicine for centuries. However, few studies have examined the adjuvant action of CS in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). So the aim of this study is to investigate the adjuvant role of CS in the treatment of NSCLC.

Methodology: The effects of the combination treatment of the polysaccharide-rich fraction of CS and cisplatin on H157 NSCLC cells were investigated through MTT assay for cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase and fluorescein diacetate and propidium iodide assay for cytotoxicity, and with flow cytometric analysis for apoptosis. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in H157 cells were detected by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Compared with the cells treated with cisplatin alone, cell viability was significantly decreased and the expression levels of VEGF and bFGF protein were significantly reduced in the cells treated with a combination of CS and cisplatin.

Conclusion: The current study indicates that the polysaccharide of CS inhibits tumor growth in NSCLC and that CS may be a potential adjuvant chemotherapeutic agent in NSCLC therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Cordyceps*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / analysis
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Cisplatin