Chinese Herbal Medicine Ganoderma tsugae Displays Potential Anti-Cancer Efficacy on Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cells

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 8;20(18):4418. doi: 10.3390/ijms20184418.


Resistance to the current therapies is the main clinical challenge in the treatment of lethal metastatic prostate cancer (mPCa). Developing novel therapeutic approaches with effective regimes and minimal side effects for this fatal disease remain a priority in prostate cancer study. In the present study, we demonstrated that a traditional Chinese medicine, quality-assured Ganoderma tsugae ethanol extract (GTEE), significantly suppressed cell growth and metastatic capability and caused cell cycle arrest through decreasing expression of cyclins in mPCa cells, PC-3 and DU145 cells. GTEE also induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in mPCa cells. We further showed the potent therapeutic efficacy of GTEE by inhibiting subcutaneous PC-3 tumor growth in a xenograft model. The in vitro and in vivo efficacies on mPCa cells were due to blockade of the PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways associated with cancer cell growth, survival and apoptosis. These preclinical data provide the molecular basis for a new potential therapeutic approach toward the treatment of lethal prostate cancer progression.

Keywords: Chinese herbal medicine; Ganoderma tsugae; anti-cancer efficacy; metastasis; prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Ganoderma / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Mice
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Caspases