Anvirzel™ in combination with cisplatin in breast, colon, lung, prostate, melanoma and pancreatic cancer cell lines

BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 Mar 25;14:18. doi: 10.1186/2050-6511-14-18.


Background: Platinum derivatives are used widely for the treatment of many cancers. However, the toxicity that is observed makes imperative the need for new drugs, or new combinations. Anvirzel™ is an extract which has been demonstrated with experimental data that displays anticancer activity. The aim of the present study is to determine whether the combination of Cisplatin and Anvirzel™ has a synergistic effect against different types of cancer.

Materials and methods: To measure the efficacy of treatment with Cisplatin and Anvirzel™, methyl-tetrazolium dye (MTT) chemosensitivity assays were used incorporating established human cancer cell lines. Measurements were performed in triplicates, three times, using different incubation times and different concentrations of the two formulations in combination or on their own. t-test was used for statistical analysis.

Results: In the majority of the cell lines tested, lower concentrations of Anvirzel™ induced a synergistic effect when combined with low concentrations of Cisplatin after an incubation period of 48 to 72 h. The combination of Anvirzel™/Cisplatin showed anti-proliferative effects against a wide range of tumours.

Conclusion: The results showed that the combination of Anvirzel™ and Cisplatin is more effective than monotherapy, even when administered at low concentrations; thus, undesirable toxic effects can be avoided.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cardenolides / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Anvirzel
  • Cardenolides
  • Cisplatin