Background: During the past few years, Hesa-A, a herbal-marine mixture, has been used to treat cancer as analternative medicine in Iran. Based on a series of studies, it is speculated that Hesa-A possesses special cytotoxiceffects on invasive tumors. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the selective anticancer effects of Hesa-A onseveral cancer cell lines with different metastatic potential. Materials and
Methods: Hesa-A was prepared innormal saline as a stock solution of 10 mg/ml and further diluted to final concentrations of 100μg/ml, 200μg/ml, 300μg/ml and 400μg/ml. MTT-based cytotoxicity assays were performed with A549 (lung non small cancer),MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma), SKOV3 (ovarian cancer), and PC-3 (prostate adenocarcinoma) cells.
Results:All treated cancer cells showed significant (P<0.01) or very significant (P<0.0001) differences in comparison tonegative control at almost all of the tested doses (100-400 μg/ml). At the lower dose (100 μg/ml), Hesa-A reducedcell viability to 66%, 45.3%, 35.5%, 33.2% in SKOV3, A549, PC-3 and MCF-7 cells, respectively. Moreover, atthe highest dose (400μg/ml), Hesa-A resulted in 88.5%, 86.6% , 84.9% and 79.3% growth inhibition in A549,MCF-7, PC-3 and SKOV3 cells, respectively.
Conclusions: Hesa-A exert potent cytotoxic effects on differenthuman cancer cells, especially those with a high metastatic potential.