Molecular carcinogenesis

Cinnamon extract reduces VEGF expression via suppressing HIF-1α gene expression and inhibits tumor growth in mice.

PMID 27253180


Although many anti-VEGF agents are available for cancer treatment, side effects of these agents limit their application for cancer treatment and prevention. Here we studied the potential use of a diet-based agent as an inhibitor for VEGF production. Using a VEGF reporter assay, our data showed that an extract from cinnamon (CE) was a potent inhibitor of VEGF production in human cancer cells and suggested inhibition might be mediated through the suppression of HIF-1α gene expression and protein synthesis. Furthermore, CE treatment was found to inhibit expression and phosphorylation of STAT3 and AKT, which are key factors in the regulation of HIF-1α expression, and significantly reduce angiogenesis potential of cancer cells by migration assay. Consistent with these results, we observed significant suppression of VEGF expression, blood vessel formation, and tumor growth in a human ovarian tumor model in mice treated with CE. Cinnamaldehyde, a major component in cinnamon, was identified as one active component in CE that inhibits VEGF expression. Taken together, our findings provide a novel mechanism underlying anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor actions of CE and support the potential use of CE in cancer prevention and treatment. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.