Frondoside A potentiates the effects of conventional therapeutic agents in acute leukemia

F. H. Sajwani, P. Collin, T. E. Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Acute leukemia is the major cause of mortality in hematological malignancies. Despite improvement of survival with current chemotherapies, patients die from the disease or side-effects of treatment. Thus, new therapeutic agents are needed. Frondoside A is a triterpenoid glycoside originally isolated from the sea cucumber, Cucumaria frondosa that has potent antitumor effects in various cancers. The current study investigated the effects of frondoside A in acute leukemia cell lines alone and in combination with drugs used for this malignancy. This study is the first comparing the efficacy of frondoside A to available conventional drugs. The acute leukemia cell lines used were CCRF-CEM, HL-60 and THP-1. Cells were cultured and treated with different concentrations of vincristine sulphate, asparaginase and prednisolone alone and in combination with frondoside A. The inhibitory concentration 50 (IC50) for each compound was determined for the cell lines. CCRF-CEM cells were very sensitive to frondoside A treatment while HL-60 and THP1 were less sensitive. Frondoside A markedly enhanced the anticancer effects of all of the conventional drugs. Synergistic effects were seen with most of the combinations. Frondoside A may be valuable in the treatment of acute leukemia, particularly when used in combination with current therapeutic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Acute leukemia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Frondoside A
  • Sea cucumber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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