Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Fresh bitter melon was previously studied for its anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties and has shown to improve survival in diabetic patients with pancreatic cancer. Although the efficacy of bitter melon fruit has been studied for its anti-diabetic effects and anti-cancer properties, research comparing the cytotoxic effects of bitter melon fruit with the over-the-counter (OTC) bitter melon tablets is lacking. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the cytotoxicity of fresh bitter melon juice with over-the-counter bitter melon tablets in ascites meta human pancreatic cancer (AsPC-1) cell lines in a concentration- and time-dependent manner.
Methods: AsPC-1 cells were cultured in T75 flasks with filtered Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 growth media, 10% fetal bovine serum, and 1% penicillin/streptomycin. They were incubated in a carbon dioxide incubator and monitored every 24 to 48 hours until the flask surface was at least 80% confluent. The AsPC-1 cells were then sub-cultured in 96-well plates and treated with either fresh bitter melon juice or OTC bitter melon tablets in a concentration-dependent (1%-5% volume/volume and 1%-5% weight/volume, respectively) and time-dependent manner (for 24, 48, and 72 hours). The untreated cells served as the negative control, and the cells treated with phosphate buffered saline served as the positive control. MTT [3-(4,5-Diemethylthiazole-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay was performed to determine and compare the cytotoxicity or cell viability of the AsPC-1 cells treated with bitter melon juice and bitter melon tablet at each time interval.
Results: Fewer AsPC-1 cells were viable after the 24-hour treatment of bitter melon juice and bitter melon tablet treatment (P = 0.019). At 48 hours, the cytotoxic effects of bitter melon tablets on AsPC-1 cells were more pronounced and significant compared to the cytotoxic effects of bitter melon juice in a concentration-dependent treatment (P = 0.008). At 72 hours, however, the cells treated with bitter melon juice showed more variable cytotoxic activity at higher concentrations. This was observed differently in the AsPC-1 cells treated with OTC bitter melon tablets, where there was more cytotoxicity at higher concentrations.
Conclusion: The cytotoxicity of bitter melon juice on AsPC-1 cells was variable at higher concentrations when treated for 72 hours. This may have resulted from the AsPC-1 cells developing resistance to bitter melon juice over time. In contrast, the cytotoxicity of bitter melon tablet was consistently observed at higher concentrations and over time even at 72 hours. This may have resulted from the OTC tablet possessing higher concentrations of the active protein responsible for anti-cancer activity.