Biomed Rep. 2023 Aug 7;19(3):63. doi: 10.3892/br.2023.1645. eCollection 2023 Sep.
Treatment with extracts from whole herbs has been reported to synergistically enhance the anticancer activities of therapeutic agents in recent studies. The present study evaluated the antioxidant and anticancer activities of Smilax corbularia Kunth (S. corbularia) and Phellinus linteus (P. linteus) crude extracts individually and in combination. S. corbularia was extracted using ethanol, whereas P. linteus was extracted using hot water. Both crude extracts underwent physiochemical characterization. Subsequently, the possible antioxidant activities of both crude extracts, individually and in combination, were evaluated using 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) assays. Their effects on breast cancer cell cytotoxicity, proliferation and apoptosis were then assessed. The crude S. corbularia extract obtained was found to have a high level of total phenolic content, whilst the crude P. linteus extract had high levels of total polysaccharide content. The total phenolic content and total polysaccharide content results of the combinations depended on the respective ratios of the individual extracts. S. corbularia alone and combination 3 (which contained 75% S. corbularia: 25% P. linteus) demonstrated the greatest radical scavenging activity, followed by combination 1 (50% S. corbularia: 50% P. linteus), combination 2 (25% S. corbularia: 75% P. linteus) and P. linteus. The toxicity results of the extract samples on the cancer cells corresponded with their antioxidant activity. In particular, certain combinations demonstrated clearer inhibitory effects on cell proliferation against three types of breast cancer cells compared with those exerted by the two individual extracts. However, induction of apoptosis was limited, with the degree of apoptosis observed to be #x003C;5%. These findings suggested that treatment with combinations of these two extracts could confer enhanced antioxidant and antiproliferative effects on breast cancer cells. Therefore, the potential of these two extracts in combination as anticancer agents warrants further investigation.