Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2014 December [Link]

Okabe S, Okamoto T, Zhao C, Chen D, Matsui H.


Background and Aim

We recently reported that topical application of acetic acid promptly caused tumor necrosis in a mouse model of gastric cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine whether acetic acid can directly induce cancer cell death.


Rat gastric epithelial cell line (RGM-1), rat gastric carcinoma cell line (RGK-1), human gastric cancer cell line (KATO III), and human mesothelioma cell lines (ACC-MESO1 and MSTO-211H) were used. Acetic acid was added into the cell culture at different concentrations for different time periods. Cell death was analyzed by MTT assay, flow cytometry, and trypan blue exclusion test.


Acetic acid promptly induced the cell death of RGM-1, RGK-1 cells, and KATO III cells in a concentration-dependent manner from 0.01% to 0.5%. Acetic acid at 0.5% for 1 min induced the cell death by 80%. RGK-1 cells were more sensitive to acetic acid than RGM-l cells. KATO III cells were more sensitive to acetic acid than RGK-1 cells. Acetic acid at 0.5% for 10 min induced almost complete cell death of ACC-MESO1 and MSTO-211H.


Acetic acid is a powerful anticancer agent. Topical application of acetic acid may be a feasible approach for the treatments of gastric cancer and possibly other malignancies.