A Comparison of the Combination of 5-Fluorouracil and Natural Chemotherapeutic Agents, Green Tea and Thymoquinone, Delivered by Conventional Delivery on Human Colon Cancer Cells

Friday, 17 July 2009: 8:50 AM

Anne A. Norwood, PhD, RN, MSN, CS-FNP
University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing, Jackson, MS
Michelle A. Tucci, PhD
Orthopedics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Hamed A. Benghuzzi, PhD
School of Health-Related Professions, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Learning Objective 1: understand the mechanism of action of TQ and EGCG as well as the possible benefits these antioxidants have on human colon cancer cells.

Learning Objective 2: demonstrate a greater understanding of cellular morphology and tests that measure cellular metabolism.

Colon cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in the world today, the second most frequently diagnosed malignancy in the United States, and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both men and women combined.  Additionally, approximately 108,070 new cases of colon cancer, as well as 49,960 deaths are expected in 2008 in North America alone with an average $8.4 billion spent per year for this type of preventable cancer (National Center for Health Statistics, 2008).  While 5-fluorouracil continues to be the chemotherapeutic gold-standard for the treatment of colon cancer, the side effects of 5-FU are numerous due to its ability to attack both healthy and cancerous cells.  However, research continues to provide positive findings in regards to antioxidants and their success in deterring cancer.  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin found in green tea, is a valuable scavenger of reactive oxygen species in vitro as well as in vivo.  Thymoquinone (TQ), the major active component of Nigella sativa (black seed), is also known for its powerful scavenger abilities as an inhibitor of oxidative stress and has been utilized in the Middle East for centuries because of its capability to heal many different diseases.  Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of conventional drug delivery of 5-FU in combination with TQ and EGCG on the metabolic activity and structure of the SW-626 human colon cancer cell line in culture.  Cells demonstrated significant (p< 0.05) damage when exposed to the combination of TQ/EGCG and EGCG/5-FU at 24, 48 and 72 hours. Morphological evaluation confirmed these results as well as others by exhibiting unidentifiable cell membranes at 24, 48 and 72 hours.  Results of this study support the suggestion that natural agents may offer a safe, alternative treatment for patients with colon cancer.