Oolong Tea Extract Induces DNA Damage and Cleavage and Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Growth and Tumorigenesis

Anticancer Res. 2018 Nov;38(11):6217-6223. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12976.


Background/aim: Breast cancer is the most prevalent and devastating malignant disease among women worldwide. Green tea has been extensively studied for its anti-cancer effects, however, existing literature on the correlation of other types of tea with breast cancer is very limited.

Materials and methods: We used six different breast cancer cell lines (ER+, PR+ or HER2+ and triple-negative), treated under different concentrations of green, oolong, black and dark tea extracts, and determined their biological effects.

Results: We determined cell viability, observed the changes of cell morphology, measured DNA damage and cleavage, and analyzed the effect on soft agar colony formation and growth.

Conclusion: Oolong tea, same as green tea, can induce DNA damage and cleavage, play an inhibitory role in breast cancer cell growth, proliferation and tumorigenesis, and was a great potential as a chemo-preventive agent against breast cancer.

Keywords: DNA damage and cleavage; Oolong tea; breast cancer; cell viability; soft agar colony formation.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • DNA Damage*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Tea