Examining the Chemotherapeutic Potential of Rosehip Plant Extracts in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
  • Patrick M. Martin, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biology, Principal Investigator, NIH Bridges-to-the-Doctorate Program, North Carolina A and T State University


Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer, characterized by the characteristic lack of receptors such as human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2), the estrogen receptor (ER), and the progesterone receptor (PR). Major concerns for side effects of commercial drugs and the emergence of drug-resistant cancer cells, has created interest in the use of naturally occurring substances that possess chemo-preventive and chemotherapeutic properties in cancer treatment. Rosehip (Rosa canina) extracts have traditionally been used as dietary supplements to relieve symptoms associated with diarrhea, gastritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are gaining interest as a potential chemo-preventative agent. Rosehip extracts prevent cell proliferation in breast, colon, and cervical cancer cells, as well as glioblastomas. However, the anti-proliferative and anti-migratory effects of these extracts in triple negative breast cancer cells have not been examined. This study investigated the efficacy of rosehip extracts in preventing cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in triple negative and luminal breast cancer cells. Treatment with rosehip extracts caused a decrease in cell proliferation and migration. Results from cell cycle and western blot analysis, as well as apoptosis studies demonstrated that rosehip extracts inhibited cell proliferation but did not promote apoptosis. Anti-metastatic effects were observed after exposure to rosehip extracts and pretreatment of these cell lines with rosehip extracts decreased the level of several protein classes associated with cancers. These data suggest that rosehip extracts are capable of decreasing TNBC cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by inhibiting multiple signaling pathways. Rosehip extracts also had a synergistic effect with Doxorubicin to prevent triple negative breast cancer cell proliferation. When combined with doxorubicin, rosehip extracts enhance the anti-proliferative and apoptosis effect of doxorubicin. These data demonstrate the enhanced effect of Doxorubicin with rosehip in the inhibition of cell proliferation. Taken together these results demonstrate Rosehip extracts may serve as an alternative or compliment to current chemotherapeutic treatment for triple negative breast cancer.  

Learning Objectives:

1.    Define the effectiveness of plant extracts in preventing triple negative breast cancer growth and migration.

2.    Explain current approaches to developing natural product development.

3.    Identify potential of natural products as adjuvant therapy for aggressive cancers. 

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