Research Papers:

A novel herbal formula, SGE, induces endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated cancer cell death and alleviates cachexia symptoms induced by colon-26 adenocarcinoma

Aeyung Kim, Minju Im and Jin Yeul Ma _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:16284-16296. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24616

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Aeyung Kim1, Minju Im1 and Jin Yeul Ma1

1Korean Medicine (KM) Application Center, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), Dong-gu, Daegu 701-300, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Jin Yeul Ma, email: [email protected]

Keywords: colon cancer; cachexia; weight loss; muscle wasting; herbal medicine

Received: August 24, 2017     Accepted: February 23, 2018     Published: March 27, 2018


Cachexia in cancer patients, characterized by marked involuntary weight loss and impaired physical function, is associated with a poor prognosis in response to conventional treatment and with an increase in cancer-related mortality. Prevention of skeletal muscle loss under cancer-induced cachexia via inhibition of pro-cachectic factors, as well as a reduction in tumor mass, has been considered reasonable pharmacological and nutritional interventions to treat cancer patients. In this study, we constructed a novel herbal formula, SGE, which contains Ginseng Radix alba, Atractylodis Rhizoma alba, and Hoelen, examined its anti-cancer and anti-cachexia efficacies. In in vitro experiments, SGE induced death of CT-26 murine colon carcinoma cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress, and suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines in Raw 264.7 murine macrophage-like cells. In addition, SGE treatment attenuated CT-26-induced C2C12 skeletal muscle cell atrophy as well as CT-26-induced reduction in lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocyte. In CT-26 tumor-bearing mice, daily oral administration of 10 and 50 mg/kg SGE remarkably attenuated the cachexia-related symptoms, including body weight and muscle loss, compared with saline treatment, while food intake was not affected. These data collectively suggest that SGE is beneficial as an anti-cancer adjuvant to treat cancer patients with severe weight loss.

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