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      Artesunate and sorafenib: Combinatorial inhibition of liver cancer cell growth

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      Oncology Letters

      D.A. Spandidos

      liver cancer cells, sorafenib, artesunate, synergistic effects

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          Abstract

          An antimalarial medication, artesunate (Art), has exhibited promising anticancer effects with excellent tolerability in various types of cancer, suggesting that it has the potential to be used in combination with sorafenib (Sora) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment. To determine the potency of this combination, the present study attempted to quantitatively measure the dose-effect relationship of each drug alone and in combination in liver cancer cells in vitro using Calcusyn software. Cell growth inhibition was determined using the CyQUANT proliferation assay in two liver cancer cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7. Drug combination and reduction indices and isobologram plots were used to assess drug interactions. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by measurements of the proportion of cells in the sub G 0/G 1 phase of the cell cycle, and determination of protein expression levels of cleaved poly ADP ribose polymerase and caspase-9. Additionally, a cell migration assay was conducted using Essen ImageLock plates with an IncuCyte Zoom imaging system. The results of the present study revealed that the inhibitory effect of Sora on cell growth was synergistically enhanced by the combination with Art in HepG2 and Huh7 cells. The combination index and dose reduction index were specific to each cell line. Furthermore, combination at a fixed ratio presented mutual enhancement with respect to apoptosis induction and suppression of in vitro liver cancer cell migration. Therefore, considering the low toxicity and well-defined clinical characteristics of Art, combination of Sora and Art may present an attractive therapeutic option in the development of clinical trials for HCC treatment.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Artesunate versus quinine for treatment of severe falciparum malaria: a randomised trial.

          In the treatment of severe malaria, intravenous artesunate is more rapidly acting than intravenous quinine in terms of parasite clearance, is safer, and is simpler to administer, but whether it can reduce mortality is uncertain. We did an open-label randomised controlled trial in patients admitted to hospital with severe falciparum malaria in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Myanmar. We assigned individuals intravenous artesunate 2.4 mg/kg bodyweight given as a bolus (n=730) at 0, 12, and 24 h, and then daily, or intravenous quinine (20 mg salt per kg loading dose infused over 4 h then 10 mg/kg infused over 2-8 h three times a day; n=731). Oral medication was substituted when possible to complete treatment. Our primary endpoint was death from severe malaria, and analysis was by intention to treat. We assessed all patients randomised for the primary endpoint. Mortality in artesunate recipients was 15% (107 of 730) compared with 22% (164 of 731) in quinine recipients; an absolute reduction of 34.7% (95% CI 18.5-47.6%; p=0.0002). Treatment with artesunate was well tolerated, whereas quinine was associated with hypoglycaemia (relative risk 3.2, 1.3-7.8; p=0.009). Artesunate should become the treatment of choice for severe falciparum malaria in adults.
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            Outcomes of sequential treatment with sorafenib followed by regorafenib for HCC: Additional analyses from the phase III RESORCE trial

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              Antitumor Activity of Artemisinin and Its Derivatives: From a Well-Known Antimalarial Agent to a Potential Anticancer Drug

              Improvement of quality of life and survival of cancer patients will be greatly enhanced by the development of highly effective drugs to selectively kill malignant cells. Artemisinin and its analogs are naturally occurring antimalarials which have shown potent anticancer activity. In primary cancer cultures and cell lines, their antitumor actions were by inhibiting cancer proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis. In xenograft models, exposure to artemisinins substantially reduces tumor volume and progression. However, the rationale for the use of artemisinins in anticancer therapy must be addressed by a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in their cytotoxic effects. The primary targets for artemisinin and the chemical base for its preferential effects on heterologous tumor cells need yet to be elucidated. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the recent advances and new development of this class of drugs as potential anticancer agents.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Oncol Lett
                Oncol Lett
                OL
                Oncology Letters
                D.A. Spandidos
                1792-1074
                1792-1082
                November 2019
                05 September 2019
                05 September 2019
                : 18
                : 5
                : 4735-4743
                Affiliations
                Department of Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Yanbian University, Yanji, Jilin 133000, P.R. China
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Dr Hao Li, Department of Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Yanbian University, 1,327 Juzi Street, Yanji, Jilin 133000, P.R. China, E-mail: lih@ 123456ybu.edu.cn
                Article
                OL-0-0-10810
                10.3892/ol.2019.10810
                6781774
                c05fa9d0-39b3-498a-829d-dbb96a447274
                Copyright: © Li et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                Categories
                Articles

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                liver cancer cells, sorafenib, artesunate, synergistic effects

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