Anticancer Action by Musculoskeletal System


Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.): Extracts were tested for their ability to stimulate the activity and maturation of osteoblastic osteosarcoma cells. Alkaline phosphatase was chosen as a marker of osteoblasticity. In vitro data clearly suggest a role for red clover isoflavonoids (Chloroform extract) in the stimulation of osteoblastic cell activity and cell differentiation.

Diosgenin (Found In Trillium, Fenugreek, And Wild Yam): This phytochemical was investigated in vitro to determine its effects on proliferation rate, cell cycle distribution, and apoptosis in the human osteosarcoma cell line. Diosgenin treatment resulted in inhibition of cell growth, with a cycle arrest in GI phase, apoptosis induction, and induced cyclooxygenase activity.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca Americana): The plant hemitoxin, pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), was conjugated to pokeweed extract (TP-3) to produce an immuno-toxin that was highly active against osteosarcoma. In vitro studies suggest that it may be useful in the treatment of patients with osteosarcoma and some soft tissue sarcomas. In vivo, TP-3 elicits potent antitumor activity in a hamster cheek pouch model of human osteosarcoma. At nontoxic dose levels, it significantly delays the emergence and progression of leg tumors and markedly improves tumor-free survival in severe combined immunodeficient mice challenged with human osteosarcoma cells. Thus, it may be useful in the treatment of patients with osteosarcoma.


Wormwood (Artemisia annua): This herb contains artemisinin, which has been shown to selectively kill cancer cells in vitro and retard the growth of implanted fibrosarcoma tumors in rats. In vitro, it rapidly induces apoptosis in cancer cells.

Aloe (Aloe Vera): Acemannan is the name given to the major carbohydrate fraction obtained from the gel of the Aloe vera leaf. Injection of acemannan has been shown to offer increased immune protection against implanted malignant tumor cells. Acemannan in the presence of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) induces apoptosis in cancer cells. It is conditionally licensed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the treatment of dogs and cats with fibrosarcoma. A total of eight dogs and five cats with histopathologically confirmed fibrosarcoma were treated with acemannan in combination with surgery and radiation therapy. Following four to seven weekly treatments, tumor shrinkage occurred in 4 of 12 animals. Complete surgical excision was performed on all animals between 4 and 7 weeks after initiation of acemannan therapy. Radiation therapy was instituted immediately after surgery. Acemannan treatments were continued monthly for 1 year. In all, 7 of 13 animals were alive and tumor free (range, 440+ to 603+ days), with a median survival time of 372 days. Acemannan may be an effective adjunct to surgery and radiation therapy in the treatment of canine and feline fibrosarcomas. A total of 43 dogs and cats with spontaneous tumor were treated with acemannan by intraperitoneal and intralesional routes of administration. Tumors from 26 of these animals showed marked necrosis or lymphocytic infiltration. Moderate to marked tumor necrosis or liquefaction was noted in 13 animals. In all, 21 demonstrated lymphoid infiltration, and 7 demonstrated encapsulation. A total of 12 animals showed obvious clinical improvement, as assessed by tumor shrinkage, tumor necrosis, or prolonged survival; these included five of the seven animals with fibrosarcoma. It is believed that acemannan exerts its antitumor activity through macrophage activation and the release of tumor necrosis factor, IL-1, and interferon.


Green Tea and Black Tea (Camellia sinensis): Black tea preparations have been shown to reduce the incidence and number of spontaneously generated lung adenocarcinomas and rhabdomyosarcomas in mice.