Insulin in endometrial carcinoma chemotherapy: A beneficial addition and not a problem

  • Huilan Sha (沙慧兰)
  • Yanhui Li (李艳辉)
  • Xuan Du (杜 璇)
  • Hongbo Wang (汪宏波)


The effects of insulin or insulin in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs on the proliferation and apoptosis of endometrial carcinoma cells were examined with an aim to determine the efficacy and safety of insulin in endometrial cancer therapy. Ishikawa and Hec-1A cells were treated with insulin and/or paclitaxel. Cell proliferation was assessed by MTT assay. Cell cycle and cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry (FCM). Survivin gene expression was detected by RT-PCR. Our results showed that in a certain range of working concentrations and action time, insulin could mildly augment cell proliferation and the percentage of S phase cells in endometrial cancer (Ishikawa/Hec-1A) cells. Insulin plus paclitaxel (combination group) could significantly inhibit cell proliferation (69.38%±2.32% vs 40.31%±4.52% with Ishikawa; 64.11%±6.33% vs 45.89%±3.27% with Hec-1A) and increase cell apoptosis compared with treatment with paclitaxel alone (paclitaxel group). Survivin gene expression was also significantly decreased in combination group as compared with paclitaxel group. We are led to conclude that insulin can mildly augment cell proliferation and present chemotherapy sensitivity in endometrial cancer cells. Insulin can be to used safely and efficiently in endometrial cancer therapy.

Key words

insulin chemotherapy sensitivity endometrial cancer apoptosis proliferation cell cycle survivin 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huilan Sha (沙慧兰)
    • 1
  • Yanhui Li (李艳辉)
    • 1
  • Xuan Du (杜 璇)
    • 1
  • Hongbo Wang (汪宏波)
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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