Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer with limited treatment options for advanced stage disease. Early detection and wide surgical excision remain the initial mode of treatment for primary tumors thus preventing metastases and leading to improved prognosis. Through this work, we have evaluated the antineoplastic effects of Rhodiola crenulata (R. crenulata) root extracts on the B16-F10 melanoma cell line, both in vitro and in vivo. We observed that R. crenulata treatment resulted in increased cell death as well as a reduction in tumor cell proliferation and migration in vitro. Additionally, we observed that R. crenulata decreased the expression of integrin β1 and vimentin and increased the expression of E-cadherin. Further, in mice treated with a topical R. crenulata-based cream therapy, tumors were more likely to have a radial growth pattern, a reduction in mitotic activity, and an increase in tumor necrosis. We also observed that mice drinking water supplemented with R. crenulata displayed a reduction of metastatic foci in disseminated models of melanoma. Collectively, these findings suggest that R. crenulata exhibits striking antitumorigenic and antimetastatic properties and that this extract may harbor potential novel adjuvant therapy for the treatment of melanoma.
Keywords: Integrin; Melanoma; Radial growth phase; Rhodiola; Vertical growth phase; Vimentin.