A black raspberry extract inhibits proliferation and regulates apoptosis in cervical cancer cells

Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Nov;123(2):401-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.07.023. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


Objective: Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer worldwide, and it remains a challenge to manage preinvasive and invasive lesions. Food-based cancer prevention entities, such as black raspberries and their derivatives, have demonstrated a marked ability to inhibit preclinical models of epithelial cancer cell growth and tumor formation. Here, we extend the role of black raspberry-mediated chemoprevention to that of cervical carcinogenesis.

Methods: Three human cervical cancer cell lines, HeLa (HPV16-/HPV18+, adenocarcinoma), SiHa (HPV16+/HPV18-, squamous cell carcinoma) and C-33A (HPV16-/HPV18-, squamous cell carcinoma), were treated with a lyophilized black raspberry ethanol extract (RO-ET) at 25, 50, 100 or 200μg/ml for 1, 3 and 5days, respectively. Cell proliferation was measured by WST1 (tetrazolium salt cleavage) assays. Flow cytometry (propidium iodide and Annexin V staining) and fluorescence microscopy analysis were used to measure apoptotic cell changes.

Results: We found that non-toxic levels of RO-ET significantly inhibited the growth of human cervical cancer cells, in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner to a maximum of 54%, 52% and 67%, respectively (p<0.05). Furthermore, cell growth inhibition was persistent following short-term withdrawal of RO-ET from the culture medium. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy demonstrated RO-ET-induced apoptosis in all cell lines.

Conclusion: Black raspberries and their bioactive components represent promising candidates for future phytochemical-based mechanistic pathway-targeted cancer prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rosaceae*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Plant Extracts