Background/aim: Active hexose-correlated compound (AHCC), an extract of basidiomycete mushroom, is used as health food to enhance the therapeutic effects and reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy. Our previous proteomic analysis revealed that up-regulation of heat-shock protein 27 (HSP27) was responsible for gemcitabine resistance of pancreatic cancer cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AHCC on the expression of HSP27 and the effect of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine on the gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line KLM1-R.
Materials and methods: KLM1-R cells were treated with AHCC, and the expression of HSP27 as well as the cytotoxic effects of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine were investigated with western blotting and MTS assay, respectively.
Results: AHCC down-regulated HSP27 and exhibited a cytotoxic effect on KLM1-R cells. Furthermore, the cytotoxic effect of the combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine was synergistic.
Conclusion: This study supports the potential therapeutic benefits of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine for patients with pancreatic cancer.
Keywords: Active hexose-correlated compound; gemcitabine; heat-shock protein 27; pancreatic cancer.