Avemar, a derivative of fermented wheat germ extract, is a non-toxic and natural compound that is used as a dietary supplement by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Avemar has numerous biological activities, and several recent studies have reported that it may also have metastatic and anti-angiogenic effects. In the present study, the mechanism of the anti-angiogenic effect of Avemar on human cancer cells was investigated. The human cell lines NCI-N87 (gastric tubular adenocarcinoma), PC3 (prostate carcinoma), HeLa (endocervical adenocarcinoma) and A549 (lung adenocarcinoma) were treated with various doses (400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 µg/ml) of Avemar, and the changes in mRNA and protein levels of two important markers of angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), were assessed by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and ELISA. VEGF and Cox-2 protein and mRNA levels were significantly lower in Avemar-treated cells than in untreated cells. The data suggest that Avemar may exert an anti-angiogenic effect on cancer cells. Thus, it is suggested to medical doctors as a potential agent for the anti-angiogenic treatment of cancer.
Keywords: Avemar; angiogenesis; cyclooxygenase 2; vascular endothelial growth factor.