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Exploring the anti-cancer potential of T33, a newly-developed TCM


In this study, Taiwanese researchers investigated the effects of a new Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula, T33, on breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Their findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide.
  • Although TCM is commonly used by breast cancer patients, little is known about TCM prescriptions for breast cancer.
  • T33 is a new TCM formula that consists of Radix Kansui, Rheum rhabarbarum, Paeonia lactiflora, jiang ban xia and zhi gan cao.
  • To evaluate its effects on human breast cancer, the researchers treated cell lines (HMEpiC, MDA-MB231 and MCF-7 cells) with different concentrations of T33.
  • They then analyzed its biological properties using MTT and Transwell migration assays.
  • To determine the involvement of autophagy in T33-induced death of MDA-MB231 and MCF-7 cells, the researchers used immunofluorescence staining with LC3-II-specific antibodies.
  • They also generated tumor xenografts by injecting either MDA-MB231 or MCF-7 cells subcutaneously into mice.
  • The researchers found that low (0.1?mg/mL) and high (10?mg/mL?) concentrations of T33 significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion of cancer cells.
  • Treatment with 2.5?mg/mL, 5?mg/mL and 10?mg/mL?T33 also induced significant autophagy.
  • In vivo, both low (200?mg/kg) and high (600?mg/kg) doses of T33 inhibited the proliferation of xenografted breast cancer cells in nude mice.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that T33 has potential as a treatment for breast cancer because of its anti-proliferative and autophagy-promoting activities.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Liu YT, Hsiao CH, Tzang BS, Hsu TC. IN VITRO AND IN VIVO EFFECTS OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE FORMULA T33 IN HUMAN BREAST CANCER CELLS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 13 August 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2630-5

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