Background: The combination of medicinal plants and polymeric matrices raised the possibility
of obtaining new drugs to treat a number of diseases, including cancer. Breast cancer is one of the
most frequent diseases among women, but the effective treatments is still a challenge.
Methods: Thus, this study investigated the effect of herbal mixture adsorbed to PEG microspheres on
MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and these cells in co-culture of blood MN cells. The MCF-7 cells and
the blood mononuclear [MN] cells from volunteer donors. MN cells, MCF-7 cells and co-culture [MN
and MCF-7 cells] were pre-incubated for 24 h with or without herbal mixture [HM], polyethylene glycol
[PEG] microspheres or herbal mixture adsorbed in PEG microspheres [PEG-HM]. Viability, intracellular
calcium and apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry. The herbal mixture adsorbed in PEG
microspheres reduces the viability of MCF-7 cells.
Results: The lowest viability índex was observed in co-culture incubated with herbal mixture adsorbed
to PEG microspheres. MN cells, MCF-7 cells and co-culture showed higher intracellular Ca2+ release
when incubated with herbal mixture adsorbed to PEG microspheres. The apoptosis index was higher in
MCF-7 cells that were treated with herbal mixture. The highest apoptosis index was observed in coculture
of these cells incubated with herbal mixture adsorbed to PEG microspheres.
Conclusion: These data suggest that herbal mixture adsorbed by PEG microspheres has apoptotic effects
on human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and is therefore a possible therapeutic alternative.