Onionin A inhibits ovarian cancer progression

09 Dec 2016
Onionin A inhibits ovarian cancer progression

A compound isolated from onion called onionin A (ONA) suppressed ovarian cancer cell proliferation and the function of tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), according to a new study by the Kumamoto University in Japan. [Sci Rep 2016, doi:10.1038/srep29588]         

The researchers found that ONA reduced the extent of ovarian cancer cell proliferation induced by co-culture with human macrophages, most likely by its inhibitory effect on M2 macrophage polarization. “TAMs play an important role in tumour development by modulating the tumour environment, and targeting of protumour activation or the M2 polarization of TAMs is expected to be an effective therapy for cancer patients,” they wrote.

In addition, ONA directly suppressed cancer cell proliferation, and had an additive effect when combined with anticancer drugs. The activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which is involved in cell proliferation and chemoresistance, was significantly reduced by ONA in ovarian cancer cells. Furthermore, ONA suppressed cancer progression and prolonged survival in a murine ovarian cancer model, whether alone or in combination with chemotherapy agents.

“Thus, ONA is considered useful for the additional treatment of patients with ovarian cancer,” the authors suggested.

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