Essiac? and Flor-Essence? herbal tonics stimulate the in vitro growth of human breast cancer cells

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People diagnosed with cancer often self-administer complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) to supplement their conventional treatments, improve health, or prevent recurrence. Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} Herbal Tonics are commercially available complex mixtures of herbal extracts sold as dietary supplements and used by cancer patients based on anecdotal evidence that they can treat or prevent disease. In this study, we evaluated Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} for their effects on the growth of human tumor cells in culture. The effect of Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} herbal tonics on cell proliferation was tested in MCF-7, MDA-MB-436, MDA-MB-231, and T47D cancer cells isolated from human breast tumors. ... continued below

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Kulp, K S; Montgomery, J L; McLimans, B; Latham, E R; Shattuck, D L; Klotz, D M et al. October 7, 2005.

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People diagnosed with cancer often self-administer complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) to supplement their conventional treatments, improve health, or prevent recurrence. Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} Herbal Tonics are commercially available complex mixtures of herbal extracts sold as dietary supplements and used by cancer patients based on anecdotal evidence that they can treat or prevent disease. In this study, we evaluated Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} for their effects on the growth of human tumor cells in culture. The effect of Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} herbal tonics on cell proliferation was tested in MCF-7, MDA-MB-436, MDA-MB-231, and T47D cancer cells isolated from human breast tumors. Estrogen receptor (ER) dependent activation of a luciferase reporter construct was tested in MCF-7 cells. Specific binding to the ER was tested using an ICI 182,780 competition assay. Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} herbal tonics at 1%, 2%, 4% and 8% stimulated cell proliferation relative to untreated controls and activated ER dependent luciferase activity in MCF-7 cells. A 10{sup -7} M concentration of ICI 870,780 inhibited the induction of ER dependent luciferase activity by Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign}, but did not affect cell proliferation. Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} Herbal Tonics can stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells through ER mediated as well as ER independent mechanisms of action. Cancer patients and health care providers can use this information to make informed decisions about the use of these CAMs.

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PDF-file: 36 pages; size: 0.3 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 98, N/A, August 3, 2006, pp. 249-259

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-216009
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 898039
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877521

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 7, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 7:58 p.m.

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Kulp, K S; Montgomery, J L; McLimans, B; Latham, E R; Shattuck, D L; Klotz, D M et al. Essiac? and Flor-Essence? herbal tonics stimulate the in vitro growth of human breast cancer cells, article, October 7, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877521/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.