Research Article

Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1086-1095

First online:

Potentiation of paclitaxel activity by curcumin in human breast cancer cell by modulating apoptosis and inhibiting EGFR signaling

  • Yingzhuan ZhanAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University
  • , Yinnan ChenAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University
  • , Rui LiuAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University
  • , Han ZhangAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University
  • , Yanmin ZhangAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University Email author 

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It has been suggested that combined effect of natural products may improve the treatment effectiveness in combating proliferation of cancer cells. Here, we examined the combined anticancer activities of compounds of three natural origin including baicalein, curcumin, and resveratrol with chemotherapy drug paclitaxel respectively, which showed that combination of paclitaxel with curcumin exhibited synergistic growth inhibition and induced significant apoptosis in MCF-7 cell lines. Treatment of MCF-7 cell lines with paclitaxel and curcumin induced the apoptosis of regulatory protein Bcl-2 but decreased Bax expression. In addition, simultaneous treatment with paclitaxel and curcumin strongly inhibited paclitaxel-induced activities of EGFR signaling. Furthermore, the combination of paclitaxel and curcumin exerted increased anti-tumor efficacy on mouse models. Overall, our data described the promising therapeutic potential and underlying mechanisms of combining paclitaxel with curcumin in treating breast cancer.


Breast cancer Paclitaxel Natural products Synergism Apoptosis EGFR signaling