Background: There is a long standing interest in natural compounds especially those with a high polyphenoliccontent and high scavenging activity for hazardous free radicals. Cornus mas (CM) fruit is well known for itsantioxidant activities; however, its toxicity against human cancers needs to be addressed. Here, we investigatedselective anticancer effects of CM on different human cancer cells. Materials and
Methods: A hydro-alcoholicextract of CM (HECM) was prepared and total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) weredetermined by colorimetric assays. Antioxidant activity was assessed with respectto DPPH radical scavenging.MTT assays were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of different doses of CM (0, 5, 20, 100, 250, 500, 1000 μg/ml) towards A549 (lung non small cell cancer), MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma), SKOV3 (ovarian cancer) andPC-3 (prostate adenocarcinoma) cells.
Results: Significant (P<0.05) or very significant (P<0.001) differenceswere observed in comparison to negative controls at all tested doses (5-1000 μg/ml). In all cancer cells, HECMreduced the cell viability to values below 26%, even at the lowest doses. In all cases, IC50 was obtained at dosesbelow 5μg/ml. The mean growth inhibition was 81.8%, 81.9%, 81.6% and 79.3% in SKOV3, MCF-7, PC-3and A549 cells, respectively.
Conclusions: Altogether, to our best knowledge, this is a first study that evaluatedtoxicity of a HECM with high antioxidant activity in different human cancer cells in vitro. Our results indicatedthat a hydro-alcoholic extract of CM possesses high potency to inhibit proliferation of different tumor cells ina dose independent manner, suggesting that an optimal biological dose is more important and relevant than amaximally tolerated one .