Study on the Anticancer Effect of an Astragaloside- and Chlorogenic Acid-Containing Herbal Medicine (RLT-03) in Breast Cancer

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 Jun 10:2020:1515081. doi: 10.1155/2020/1515081. eCollection 2020.


Background: Although surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and endocrine therapy are widely used in clinical practice for breast cancer treatment, herbal medicines (HMs) are considered as an alternative to palliative treatments because of their coordinated intervention effects and relatively low side effects. Astragaloside (AS) and chlorogenic acid (CGA) are major active ingredients of Radix Astragali and Lonicera japonica, which have shown antitumorigenic properties in certain cancers, but the role of HMs containing both AS and CGA remains unclear in breast cancer. In this study, we explored an AS- and CGA-containing HM (RLT-03) extracted from Radix Astragali, Lonicerae Japonicae Flos, Trichosanthin, and Rhizoma imperatae.

Methods: RLT-03 was extracted using water and n-butanol, and the AS and CGA ingredients in RLT-03 were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and evaporative light-scattering detector (ELSD). 4T1, EMT6, BT-549, and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines were used, and an EMT6 xenograft model was established. Cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis were measured in vitro, and tumor volume and weight were observed in vivo. The expression of VEGF, EGF, IL-10, TGF-β, and CD34 and cell apoptosis in tumors were examined.

Results: RLT-03 inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In vivo, tumor volume and weight were reduced, and the expression of VEGF, EGF, IL-10, TGF-β, and CD34 was suppressed in the tumor microenvironment, while cell apoptosis was induced.

Conclusion: RLT-03 exhibited therapeutic effects against breast cancer by regulating the expression of ligands of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and inflammatory factors. Thus, RLT-03 represents a potential supplementary HM that can be used in breast cancer therapy.