Subscribe to RSS
In Vitro Assessment of Homeopathic Potencies of Hydrastis canadensis on Hormone-Dependent and Independent Breast CancerFunding This work was financially supported by the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Project No. 17–210/2013–14/CCRH/Tech/Coll/Biotech, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India and performed at Amity University, Noida, India.
Background Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Conventional treatment such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiotherapy has decreased the mortality rate among cancer patients but has also revealed long-term side effects. Drug resistance and toxicity to normal cells compound the problems associated with the use of modern medicines. Hence, complementary or alternative treatment options are being explored. The current study, using different homeopathic potencies of Hydrastis canadensis, was conducted to distinguish between any effects they might have on hormone-dependent and independent breast cancer.
Materials and Methods The cytotoxic effect of homeopathic medicine Hydrastis on hormone-dependent (MCF 7) and hormone-independent (MDA-MB-468) breast cancer cells was assessed using viability and colony-forming assays after 48 or 72 hours of treatment. Flow cytometry-based Annexin V-PI (propidium iodide), caspase 3 and cell cycle analysis was performed following treatment of cells with mother tincture or various potencies of Hydrastis (1C, 2C, 30C, 200C).
Results Different potencies of Hydrastis displayed selective cytotoxic effects against MCF 7 cells, but only marginal effects against MDA-MB-468. The maximum cytotoxicity was established in the case of 1C following 72 hours of treatment. Treatment of breast cancer cells revealed an increase in the G0/G1 cell population, along with an increase in the caspase 3 levels and induction of apoptosis.
Conclusion Hydrastis may have a selective cytotoxic effect against hormone-dependent breast cancer MCF 7 cells, leading to cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase, which could be the plausible reason for the induction of apoptosis. The results need to be validated in vivo.
Keywordsbreast cancer - Hydrastis canadensis - hormone dependent - caspase - apoptosis - cytotoxicity - homeopathy - mother tincture
• Hydrastis is selectively cytotoxic against hormone-dependent breast cancer cells.
• The effect is time dependent and is in order MT >1C.
• The effect is irreversible in the case of MT.
• The mode of cell death can be attributed to caspase 3-dependent apoptosis.
The study was performed as part of the PhD thesis of the first author.
Received: 18 September 2019
Accepted: 13 February 2020
Article published online:
01 July 2020
The Faculty of Homeopathy
- 1 Fisher P. What is homeopathy? An introduction. Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 2012; 4: 1669-1682
- 2 Walach H, Jonas WB, Ives J, van Wijk R, Weingärtner O. Research on homeopathy: state of the art. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 11: 813-829
- 3 Ernst E, Pittler MH, Wider B. , Eds. The Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier Mosby; 2006
- 4 Betti L, Trebbi G, Olioso D, Marzotto M, Bellavite P. Basic research in homeopathy and ultra-high dilutions: what progress is being made?. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 151-154
- 5 Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, Kane SG. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: a nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 231-242
- 6 Bray F, Jemal A, Grey N, Ferlay J, Forman D. Global cancer transitions according to the Human Development Index (2008-2030): a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2012; 13: 790-801
- 7 Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2018. CA Cancer J Clin 2018; 68: 7-30
- 8 Wu Y, Zhang D, Kang S. Physical activity and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2013; 137: 869-882
- 9 Subik K, Lee JF, Baxter L. et al. The expression patterns of ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR, Ki-6 and AR by immunohistochemical analysis in breast cancer cell lines. Breast Cancer (Auckl) 2010; 4: 35-41
- 10 Perou CM, Sørlie T, Eisen MB. et al. Molecular portraits of human breast tumours. Nature 2000; 406: 747-752
- 11 Sørlie T, Perou CM, Tibshirani R. et al. Gene expression patterns of breast carcinomas distinguish tumor subclasses with clinical implications. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2001; 98: 10869-10874
- 12 Bianchini G, Balko JM, Mayer IA, Sanders ME, Gianni L. Triple-negative breast cancer: challenges and opportunities of a heterogeneous disease. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2016; 13: 674-690
- 13 Asensi M, Ortega A, Mena S, Feddi F, Estrela JM. Natural polyphenols in cancer therapy. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2011; 48: 197-216
- 14 Weber HA, Zart MK, Hodges AE. et al. Chemical comparison of goldenseal (Hydrastis L.) root powder from three commercial suppliers. J Agric Food Chem 2003; 51: 7352-7358
- 15 Pan Y, Zhang F, Zhao Y. et al. Berberine enhances chemosensitivity and induces apoptosis through dose-orchestrated AMPK signaling in breast cancer. J Cancer 2017; 8: 1679-1689
- 16 Patil JB, Kim J, Jayaprakasha GK. Berberine induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells (MCF-7) through mitochondrial-dependent pathway. Eur J Pharmacol 2010; 645: 70-78
17 Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India Volume 1; 1971
- 18 Arora S, Aggarwal A, Singla P, Jyoti S, Tandon S. Anti-proliferative effects of homeopathic medicines on human kidney, colon and breast cancer cells. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 274-282
- 19 Jyoti S, Tandon S. Impact of homeopathic remedies on the expression of lineage differentiation genes: an in vitro approach using embryonic stem cells. Homeopathy 2016; 105: 148-159
- 20 Rafehi H, Orlowski C, Georgiadis GT, Ververis K, El-Osta A, Karagiannis TC. Clonogenic assay: adherent cells. J Vis Exp 2011; 49: 15-17
- 21 Hollenbeck PJ, Bray D, Adams RJ. Effects of the uncoupling agents FCCP and CCCP on the saltatory movements of cytoplasmic organelles. Cell Biol Int Rep 1985; 9: 193-199
- 22 Saleh EM, El-awady RA, Eissa NA, Abdel-Rahman WM. Antagonism between curcumin and the topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide: a study of DNA damage, cell cycle regulation and death pathways. Cancer Biol Ther 2012; 13: 1058-1071
- 23 Wei W, Lewis MT. Identifying and targeting tumor-initiating cells in the treatment of breast cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer 2015; 22: R135-R155
- 24 Antony M, Geetha RV, Thangavelu L. The anti-carcinogenic activity of Hydrastis canadensis on oral cancer cell lines. Int J Res Pharm Sci 2018; 10: 1054-1057
- 25 National Toxicology Program. Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of goldenseal root powder (Hydrastis) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (feed studies). Natl Toxicol Program Tech Rep Ser 2010; 562: 1-188
- 26 Wang P, Ownby S, Zhang Z, Yuan W, Li S. Cytotoxicity and inhibition of DNA topoisomerase I of polyhydroxylated triterpenoids and triterpenoid glycosides. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010; 20: 2790-2796
- 27 Sunila ES, Kuttan R, Preethi KC, Kuttan G. Dynamized preparations in cell culture. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2009; 6: 257-263
- 28 Preethi K, Ellanghiyil S, Kuttan G, Kuttan R. Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells by some potentiated homeopathic drugs: implications on mechanism of action. Integr Cancer Ther 2012; 11: 172-182
- 29 Saha SK, Roy S, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Ultra-highly diluted plant extracts of Hydrastis and Marsdenia condurango induce epigenetic modifications and alter gene expression profiles in HeLa cells in vitro. J Integr Med 2015; 13 (06) 400-411
- 30 Saha S, Hossain DM, Mukherjee S. et al. Calcarea carbonica induces apoptosis in cancer cells in p53-dependent manner via an immuno-modulatory circuit. BMC Complement Altern Med 2013; 13: 230
- 31 Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Potentized homeopathic drugs act through regulation of gene expression: a hypothesis to explain their mechanism and pathways of action in vivo. Comp Ther Med 1997; 5: 43-46
- 32 Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Towards understanding molecular mechanisms of action of homeopathic drugs: an overview. Mol Cell Biochem 2003; 253: 339-345