In Vitro and in Vivo Antitumor Evaluation of Berbamine for Lung Cancer Treatment

  • Hou, Zhi-Bo (First Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital & Clinical Center of Nanjing Respiratory Diseases) ;
  • Lu, Kai-Jin (Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jiangsu Taizhou People's Hospital) ;
  • Wu, Xiao-Li (Department of Women Health Care, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Cong (Department of Gynecology of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated to Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine) ;
  • Huang, Xin-En (Department of Chemotherapy, JiangSu Cancer Hospital & Research Institute) ;
  • Yin, Hai-Tao (Department of Radiotherapy, the Central Hospital of Xuzhou, Affiliated Hospital of Southeast University)
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Purpose: Lung cancer, one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the world, is characterized by relatively high morbidity and mortality. Berbamine (BER) has been initially reported to exert anti-proliferative effects against a series of cancers. Methods: In this study the in vitro cytotoxicity of BER was measured by MTT assay. In vivo anti-cancer efficacy of BER was assessed in A549 xenografts. Results: Cytotoxicity tests showed dose-dependent cell growth inhibition effects of BER against A549 cells. Moreover, BER significantly reduced the growth of lung cancer in a dose-dependent manner in nude mice with prolonged survival time. Conclusion: Therefore, BER might be in herbal medicine for cancer therapy and further efforts are needed to explore therapeutic strategies.


  1. Lu YY, Huang XE, Cao J, et al (2013). Phase II study on Javanica oil emulsion injection ($Yadanzi^{(R)}$) combined with chemotherapy in treating patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 4791-4.
  2. Ji ZN, Ye WC, Liu GQ, et al (2002). Inhibition of telomerase activity and bcl-2 expression in berbamine-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells. Planta Med, 68, 596-600.
  3. Kim JL1, Cho KH, Park EC, et al (2014). A single measure of cancer burden combining incidence with mortality rates for worldwide application. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 433-9.
  4. Kittakoop P, Mahidol C, Ruchirawat S (2014). Alkaloids as important scaffolds in therapeutic drugs for the treatments of cancer, tuberculosis, and smoking cessation. Curr Top Med Chem, 14, 239-52.
  5. Meng Z, Li T, Ma X, et al (2013). Berbamine inhibits the growth of liver cancer cells and cancer-initiating cells by targeting Ca (2) (+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. Mol Cancer Ther, 12, 2067-77.
  6. Pikor LA, Ramnarine VR, Lam S, et al (2013). Genetic alterations defining NSCLC subtypes and their therapeutic implications. Lung Cancer, 82, 179-89.
  7. Qin R, Shen H, Cao Y, et al (2013). Tetrandrine induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in human gastric cancer BGC-823 cells. PloS One, 8, e76486.
  8. Song S, Zhu S, Zhang Z, et al (2013). A study on the inhibitory effect of matrine on gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med, 10, 435-8.
  9. Wang S, Liu Q, Zhang Y, et al (2009). Suppression of growth, migration and invasion of highly-metastatic human breast cancer cells by berbamine and its molecular mechanisms of action. Mol Cancer, 8, 81.
  10. Gu Y, Chen T, Meng Z, et al (2012). CaMKII gamma, a critical regulator of CML stem/progenitor cells, is a target of the natural product berbamine. Blood, 120, 4829-39.
  11. Wang X, Song ZF, Xie RM, et al (2013). Analysis of death causes of in-patients with malignant tumors in Sichuan Cancer Hospital of China from 2002 to 2012. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 4399-402.
  12. Yan HA, Shen K, Huang XE (2013). Clinical study on mannan peptide combined with TP regimen in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 4801-4.

Cited by

  1. v6 and E-cadherin and Lymphatic Metastasis in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer vol.15, pp.5, 2014,
  2. Anti-Proliferation Effects and Molecular Mechanisms of Action of Tetramethypyrazine on Human SGC-7901 Gastric Carcinoma Cells vol.15, pp.8, 2014,
  3. Clinical Study on Safety and Efficacy of JiSaiXin (Recombinant Human Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor Injection Manufactured in China) for Chinese Undergoing Chemotherapy vol.16, pp.1, 2015,
  4. Current Drugs and Drug Targets in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Limitations and Opportunities vol.16, pp.10, 2015,
  5. Analysis on Early Detection of Lung Cancer by PET/CT Scan vol.16, pp.6, 2015,
  6. Clinical Application of Recombinant Human Endostatin in Postoperative Early Complementary Therapy on Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer in Chinese Mainland vol.16, pp.9, 2015,
  7. metabolic activation of berbamine to quinone methide intermediate vol.31, pp.4, 2016,
  8. The apoptotic and genomic studies on A549 cell line induced by silver nitrate vol.39, pp.4, 2017,
  9. pp.1477-0903, 2017,
  10. Berbamine suppresses cell viability and induces apoptosis in colorectal cancer via activating p53-dependent apoptotic signaling pathway pp.1573-0778, 2017,
  11. A novel autophagy inhibitor berbamine blocks SNARE-mediated autophagosome-lysosome fusion through upregulation of BNIP3 vol.9, pp.2, 2018,
  12. The Multi-Functional Calcium/Calmodulin Stimulated Protein Kinase (CaMK) Family: Emerging Targets for Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Intervention vol.12, pp.1, 2019,