Synergistic Effects of the Green Tea Extract Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and Taxane in Eradication of Malignant Human Prostate Tumors
Author: Mark E. Stearns and Min Wang
We have examined whether epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and extract of green tea, in combination with taxane (i.e., paclitaxel and docetaxel), exerts a synergistic activity in blocking human prostate PC-3ML tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Growth assays in vitro revealed that the IC50 values were ∼30 μM, ∼3 nM, and ∼6 nM, for EGCG, paclitaxel and docetaxel, respectively. Isobolograms generated from the data clearly indicated that EGCG in combination with paclitaxel or docetaxel had an additive effect in blocking tumor cell growth. EGCG combined with taxane also had an additive effect to increase the expression of apoptotic genes, (p53, p73, p21, and caspase 3) and the percent apoptosis observed in vitro and in tumor modeling studies in severe combined immunodeficient mice. The tumor modeling studies clearly showed that EGCG plus taxane injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) induced a significant increase in apoptosis rates (TUNEL assays) and eliminated preexisting tumors generated from PC-3ML cells implanted i.p., increasing disease-free survival rates to greater than 90%. More importantly, the combination therapy (i.p. biweekly) blocked metastases after intravenous injection of PC-3ML cells through the tail vein. In mice treated with EGCG plus taxane, the disease-free survival rates increased from 0% (in untreated mice) to more than 70% to 80% in treated mice. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time that EGCG in combination with taxane may provide a novel therapeutic treatment of advanced prostate cancer.