A major challenge for oncologists and pharmacologists is to develop less toxic drugs that will improve the survival of lung cancer patients. Frondoside A is a triterpenoid glycoside isolated from the sea cucumber, Cucumaria frondosa and was shown to be a highly safe compound. We investigated the impact of Frondoside A on survival, migration and invasion in vitro, and on tumor growth, metastasis and angiogenesis in vivo alone and in combination with cisplatin. Frondoside A caused concentration-dependent reduction in viability of LNM35, A549, NCI-H460-Luc2, MDA-MB-435, MCF-7, and HepG2 over 24 hours through a caspase 3/7-dependent cell death pathway. The IC50 concentrations (producing half-maximal inhibition) at 24 h were between 1.7 and 2.5 μM of Frondoside A. In addition, Frondoside A induced a time- and concentration-dependent inhibition of cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis in vitro. Frondoside A (0.01 and 1 mg/kg/day i.p. for 25 days) significantly decreased the growth, the angiogenesis and lymph node metastasis of LNM35 tumor xenografts in athymic mice, without obvious toxic side-effects. Frondoside A (0.1-0.5 μM) also significantly prevented basal and bFGF induced angiogenesis in the CAM angiogenesis assay. Moreover, Frondoside A enhanced the inhibition of lung tumor growth induced by the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin. These findings identify Frondoside A as a promising novel therapeutic agent for lung cancer.
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