Combination of onconase and dihydroartemisinin synergistically suppresses growth and angiogenesis of non-small-cell lung carcinoma and malignant mesothelioma

Acta Biochemica et Biophysica Sinica 2016 September 2 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Shen R, Li J, Ye D, Wang Q, Fei J


Onconase (Onc) is a cytotoxic ribonuclease derived from leopard frog oocytes or early embryos, and has been applied to the treatment of malignant mesothelioma in clinics. Onc also exhibits effective growth suppression of human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Artemisinin (Art) and its derivatives are novel antimalarial drugs that exhibit antitumor and antivirus activities. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effects of combinations of Onc and an Art derivative, dihydroartemisinin (DHA), both in vitro and in vivo Isobologram analyses showed synergistic effects on the proliferation of NSCLC cells under the treatment with Onc and DHA. In vivo experiments also showed that the antitumor effect of Onc was markedly enhanced by DHA in mouse xenograft models. No obvious adverse effect was observed after the treatment. The density of microvasculature in the tumor tissues treated with Onc/DHA combination was lower than those treated with Onc or DHA alone. The above results are consistent with the results of the matrigel plug test for angiogenesis suppression using the Onc/DHA combination. These results imply that the anti-angiogenesis effects may make important contributions to the in vivo antitumor effects of the Onc/DHA combination treatment. The Onc/DHA combination therapy may have the potential to become a novel regimen for NSCLC and mesothelioma.