Anticancer research

The effect of silibinin in enhancing toxicity of temozolomide and etoposide in p53 and PTEN-mutated resistant glioma cell lines.

PMID 25750273


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an intractable brain tumor, associated with poor prognosis and low survival rate. Combination therapy such as surgery, radiotherapy and temozolomide is considered standard in overcoming this aggressive cancer, despite poor prognosis. There is a need to identify potential agents, which may augment the chemotherapeutic effects of standard drugs such as temozolomide. In this project, we evaluated the effects of silibinin, a natural plant component of milk thistle seeds, to potentiate toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs such as temozolomide, etoposide and irinotecan on LN229, U87 and A172 (P53 and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) -tumor suppressor-mutated) glioma cell lines. Data from this work suggest that silibinin was effective in potentiating the cytotoxic efficacy of temozolomide in LN229, U87 and A172 cells. While silibinin reduced survivin protein expression only in LN229 cells, its ability to potentiate cytotoxicity of chemo therapy drugs occurred irrespective of survivin protein levels. The data also demonstrated that silibinin potentiated the effect of etoposide and but not irinotecan in LN229 cells. Future research will be required to evaluate the in vivo efficacy of silibinin to delineate its mechanism of action and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.