Propolis from bees fights breast cancer

Life Sci. 2006 May 8;78(24):2820-5. Epub 2005 Dec 22.

Therapeutic effect of paclitaxel and propolis on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant system in 7,12 dimethyl benz(a)anthracene-induced breast cancer in female Sprague Dawley rats.

Padmavathi R, Senthilnathan P, Chodon D, Sakthisekaran D.

Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Madras, Taramani campus, Chennai-600 113, Tamilnadu, India.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women of developed and developing countries. The optimum management of which requires a multidisciplinary approach including the use of certain biochemical and molecular markers. The effect of propolis along with paclitaxel on 7,12 dimethyl benz(a)anthracene (DMBA) induced experimental breast cancer was investigated in female Sprague Dawley rats. Female Sprague Dawley rats were divided into five groups of six animals each. Group I served as normal control animal. Group II animals received DMBA (20 mg in 0.5 ml sunflower oil and 0.5 ml of saline) i.p. to develop mammary tumor by the end of 90 days. Group III were breast cancer animals treated with 33 mg paclitaxel/kg body weight (bw) weekly once for 4 weeks. Group IV were breast cancer-bearing animals treated with 50 mg propolis/kg bw for 30 days. Group V were breast cancer-bearing animals treated with both paclitaxel and propolis as mentioned above. Administration of paclitaxel and propolis effectively suppressed breast cancer, which is revealed by the decrease in the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) with concomitant increase in the activities of enzymic antioxidants (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)) and non-enzymic antioxidants (reduced glutathione (GSH), Vitamin C and Vitamin E) levels when compared to breast cancer-bearing animals treated with either paclitaxel or propolis alone. From our results, we conclude that propolis is a potent antioxidant and, when given in combination with paclitaxel, offers maximum protection against DMBA induced mammary carcinogenesis.

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