A key active compound, Tripolide (TPL) which is extracted from the Chinese herb Thunder God Vine (Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F.), has shown that it possesses anti-cancer activity in human prostate cancer cells. The actual effects of TPL against castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells and the underlying mechanism of action are yet unknown.
In addition, TPL at low doses inhibits the transactivation activity of the androgen receptor (AR). Low dose TPL has a synergistic effect with enzalutamide (Xtandi) by inhibiting CRPC cell survival in vitro, and enhances the anti-cancer effect of enzalutamide on CRPC xenografts, all with minimal side effects.
In the normal course of advanced prostate cancer the drug Enzalutamide, which is a second-generation androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, has a limited useful life before a man develops resistance to it. TPL might be useful both to treat the cancer as well as to slow down the eventual development of enzalutamide resistance.
These results also suggest that TPL is a potential drug for CRPC, and can be used in combination with enzalutamide to treat CRPC. We are looking forward to additional studies of this potential treatment possibility.
Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW wrote this Post. Joel is the CEO/Executive Director of Cancer ABCs. He is a Cancer Thriver diagnosed with 5 primary cancers - Thyroid, Metastatic Prostate, Renal, Melanoma and a rare cancer, Appendiceal Cancer.