Blueberry as a Potential Radiosensitizer for Treating Cervical Cancer

  • Kristoffer T. Davidson
  • Ziwen Zhu
  • Qian Bai
  • Huaping Xiao
  • Mark R. Wakefield
  • Yujiang Fang
Original Article


Cervical cancer (CC) is a leading cause of death in women worldwide. Radiation therapy (RT) for CC is an effective alternative, but its toxicity remains challenging. Blueberry is amongst the most commonly consumed berries in the United States. We previously showed that resveratrol, a compound in red grapes, can be used as a radiosensitizer for prostate cancer. In this study, we found that the percentage of colonies, PCNA expression level and the OD value of cells from the CC cell line SiHa were all decreased in RT/Blueberry Extract (BE) group when compared to those in the RT alone group. Furthermore, TUNEL+ cells and the relative caspase-3 activity in the CC cells were increased in the RT/BE group compared to those in the RT alone group. The anti-proliferative effect of RT/BE on cancer cells correlated with downregulation of pro-proliferative molecules cyclin D and cyclin E. The pro-apoptotic effect of RT/BE correlated with upregulation of the pro-apoptotic molecule TRAIL. Thus, BE sensitizes SiHa cells to RT by inhibition of proliferation and promotion of apoptosis, suggesting that blueberry might be used as a potential radiosensitizer to treat CC.


Blueberry extract Radiation Apoptosis Cervical cancer 



This study was supported by grants from Des Moines University for Yujiang Fang, M.D., Ph.D. (IOER 05-14-01 and IOER 112-3749). Kristoffer T. Davidson was supported by Mentored Research Program from Des Moines University (IOER 112-3113).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristoffer T. Davidson
    • 1
  • Ziwen Zhu
    • 2
  • Qian Bai
    • 2
  • Huaping Xiao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark R. Wakefield
    • 2
  • Yujiang Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Immunology & PathologyDes Moines University College of Osteopathic MedicineDes MoinesUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Missouri School of MedicineColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.The Affiliated Hospital of Xiangnan UniversityChenzhouChina

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