Background: Cancer is one of the highly virulent diseases known to humankind with a high mortality rate. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Sorghum is a principal cereal food in many parts of the world, and is critical in folk medicine of Asia and Africa. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of HSE in metastatic breast cancer.
Methodology/principal findings: Preliminary studies conducted on MDA-MB 231 and MCF-7 xenograft models showed tumor growth suppression by HSE. Western blotting studies conducted both in vivo and in vitro to check the effect of HSE in Jak/STAT pathways. Anti-metastatic effects of HSE were confirmed using both MDA-MB 231 and MCF-7 metastatic animal models. These studies showed that HSE can modulate Jak/STAT pathways, and it hindered the STAT5b/IGF-1R and STAT3/VEGF pathways not only by down-regulating the expression of these signal molecules and but also by preventing their phosphorylation. The expression of angiogenic factors like VEGF, VEGF-R2 and cell cycle regulators like cyclin D, cyclin E, and pRb were found down-regulated by HSE. In addition, it also targets Brk, p53, and HIF-1α for anti-cancer effects. HSE induced G1 phase arrest and migration inhibition in MDA-MB 231 cells. The metastasis of breast cancer to the lungs also found blocked by HSE in the metastatic animal model.
Conclusions/significance: Usage of HS as a dietary supplement is an inexpensive natural cancer therapy, without any side effects. We strongly recommend the use of HS as an edible therapeutic agent as it possesses tumor suppression, migration inhibition, and anti-metastatic effects on breast cancer.