Adjuvant Therapy with Silibinin Improves the Efficacy of Paclitaxel and Cisplatin in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Hematology and Oncology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Rofeydeh Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science (USWR), Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of microbial biotechnology, Islamic Azad University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran.

4 Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

5 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Herbal-derived medicines have introduced as sources of novel drugs due to minimum systemic side effects. Silibinin as a flavonoid compound has showed with effective chemotherapeutic effects on different cancers. Here, we investigated the impact of combination therapy of silibinin, with paclitaxel and cisplatin in inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Cell proliferation was assessed by MTT assay and the percentage of apoptotic cells was measured using flowcytometric assay. Understand of molecular mechanism of this combination related to apoptotic pathway were evaluated by Real Time RT-PCR assays. The IC50 values for silibinin, paclitaxel and cisplatin were 160 ± 22.2 μM, 33.7 ± 4.2 nM and 3.2 ± 0.5 μM, respectively. Paclitaxel and cisplatin induced higher percentage of apoptosis in MCF-7 (P < 0.05). Treatment of cell line with combination of silibinin and paclitaxel or cisplatin showed enhanced early apoptosis 56% and 61%, respectively (P < 0.05). Gene expression patterns demonstrated a significant decrease in anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 with increase in pro-apoptotic Bax, P53, BRCA1 and ATM mRNA levels. Taken together combination therapy of breast cancer cells by applying paclitaxel or cisplatin with silibinin synergistically increases the anti-proliferative effect of single agents.


Main Subjects

Volume 18, Issue 8
August 2017
Pages 2243-2247
  • Receive Date: 29 May 2017
  • Revise Date: 22 July 2017
  • Accept Date: 02 August 2017
  • First Publish Date: 02 August 2017