Background: Fewer than 6% patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas live up to five years after diagnosis. Chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment, however, these tumors often develop drug resistance over time. Agents for increasing the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy or reducing the cancer cells' chemo-resistance to the drugs are required to improve treatment outcome. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), a pro-inflammatory transcription factor, reportedly plays a significant role in the resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to apoptosis-based chemotherapy. This study investigated the effect of aqueous Moringa Oleifera leaf extract on cultured human pancreatic cancer cells - Panc-1, p34, and COLO 357, and whether it can potentiates the effect of cisplatin chemotherapy on these cells.
Methods: The effect of Moringa Oleifera leaf extract alone and in combination with cisplatin on the survival of cultured human pancreatic cancer cells was evaluated by XTT-based colorimetric assay. The distribution of Panc-1 cells in the cell cycle following treatment with Moringa leaf extract was evaluated by flow cytometry, and evaluations of protein levels were via immunoblotting. Data of cell survival following combined treatments were analyzed with Calcusyn software.
Results: Moringa Oleifera leaf extract inhibited the growth of all pancreatic cell lines tested. This effect was significant in all cells following exposure to ≥0.75 mg/ml of the extract. Exposure of Panc-1 cells to Moringa leaf extract induced an elevation in the sub-G1 cell population of the cell-cycle, and reduced the expression of p65, p-IkBα and IkBα proteins in crude cell extracts. Lastly, Moringa Oleifera leaf extract synergistically enhanced the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin on Panc-1 cells.
Conclusion: Moringa Oleifera leaf extract inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells, the cells NF-κB signaling pathway, and increases the efficacy of chemotherapy in human pancreatic cancer cells.