Is There a Role for Phytochemicals in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma?
Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019
A team of investigators from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea, have taken a novel approach to the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma: phytochemicals. These so-called natural products have been reported to display a variety of anti–multiple myeloma activities, including apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest, antiangiogenesis, and miRNA modulation. In a review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Beomku Kang, MD, explored the evidence supporting natural products and their bioactive compounds in the potential treatment of multiple myeloma.
According to evidence provided in the review, among the various natural products that induce intrinsic apoptosis is the chloroform fraction of Azorella glabra Wedd., which contains polyphenols, flavonoids, and terpenoids. Other phytochemicals induce apoptosis via caspase-3 activation; cleavage of PARP; and repression of BCL2 in RPMI8226, SKMM1, MM1S, and MM cell lines.
The authors also focused on cell-cycle arrest checkpoints that were inhibited by the natural products. For example, aplidin, from Aplidium albicans, possibly blocks the proliferation of multiple myeloma cells as well as induces cell death. In addition, dolastatin 15, a peptide derived from Dolabella auricularia possibly exhibits G2/M cell-cycle arrest accompanying apoptosis.
Finally, the authors discussed a clinical study researching the properties of Agaricus blazei Murrill as a supplementary treatment in addition to chemotherapy. Patients were randomly divided into two groups, and each one was prescribed 60 mL of agaricus extract or placebo once daily from the start of stem cell–mobilizing therapy until 1 week after the end of aplasia after chemotherapy (a high dose of melphalan). The mean overall survival was 50.7 months in the agaricus group and 47.4 months in the placebo group.
“The scarcity of in vivo and clinical studies, coupled with the positive effects documented by in vitro investigation, represent a strong incentive to continue a meaningful work in this area of cancer research,” the investigators concluded.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.