Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells

Moshe Frenkel, Bal Mukund Mishra, Subrata Sen, Peiying Yang, Alison Pawlus, Luis Vence, Aimee Leblanc, Lorenzo Cohen, Pratip Banerji, Prasanta Banerji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The use of ultra-diluted natural products in the management of disease and treatment of cancer has generated a lot of interest and controversy. We conducted an in vitro study to determine if products prescribed by a clinic in India have any effect on breast cancer cell lines. We studied four ultra-diluted remedies (Carcinosin, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja) against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and a cell line derived from immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMLE). The remedies exerted preferential cytotoxic effects against the two breast cancer cell lines, causing cell cycle delay/arrest and apoptosis. These effects were accompanied by altered expression of the cell cycle regulatory proteins, including downregulation of phosphorylated Rb and upregulation of the CDK inhibitor p27, which were likely responsible for the cell cycle delay/arrest as well as induction of the apoptotic cascade that manifested in the activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP in the treated cells. The findings demonstrate biological activity of these natural products when presented at ultra-diluted doses. Further indepth studies with additional cell lines and animal models are warranted to explore the clinical applicability of these agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Alternative medicine
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer cells
  • Cancer care
  • Cell cycle
  • Complementary medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Integrative medicine
  • Integrative oncology


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