Tumor metastasis is a major cause of mortality in cancer patients. The anti-metastatic effect of tetrandrine, an alkaloid isolated from Stephania tetrandrae S. Moore, was investigated in a pulmonary metastatic model of colorectal cancer-bearing mice. Tetrandrine decreased the viability of murine colorectal adenocarcinoma CT26 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. CT26 cells were injected into BALB/c mice via a tail vein to establish pulmonary metastases. After this, the mice were given intraperitoneal injections of tetrandrine (10 mg/kg/day), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) at the same dose, or vehicle for 5 consecutive days. Mice treated with tetrandrine had 40.3% fewer metastases than vehicle-treated mice, and those treated with 5-FU had 36.9% fewer metastases than controls. Both tetrandrine- and 5-FU-treated mice survived longer than mice in the untreated control group. There was no acute toxicity or obvious changes in body weight in any of the mice. These results suggest that tetrandrine may be a useful anti-metastatic agent.
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 02/2004; 32(6):863-72. DOI:10.1142/S0192415X04002478 · 2.63 Impact Factor