Saffron-Based Crocin Prevents Early Lesions of Liver Cancer

Saffron-Based Crocin Prevents Early Lesions of Liver Cancer

The angiogenesis inhibitor, sorafenib, remains the only available therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Only recently patents of VEGF receptors-3 inhibitors are developed. Thus, a novel approach against HCC is essential for a better therapeutic outcome.

Researchers examined the chemopreventive action of saffron’s main biomolecule, crocin, against chemically-induced liver cancer in rats, and to explored the mechanisms by which crocin employs its anti-tumor effects.

They investigated the anti-cancer effect of crocin on an experimental carcinogenesis model of liver cancer by studying the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferation, pro-apoptotic activities of crocin in vivo. Authors found that Crocin exhibited anti-inflammatory properties where NF-kB, among other inflammatory markers, was inhibited. In vitro analysis confirmed crocin’s effect in HepG2 by arresting the cell cycle at S and G2/M phases, inducing apoptosis and down regulating inflammation.

In addition, authors provided a network analysis of differentially expressed genes in tissues of animals pre-treated with crocin in comparison to induced-HCC animals’ tissues. Network analysis identified NF-kB as a potential regulatory hub, and therefore, a candidate therapeutic drug target.