Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer with a high mortality rate if not discovered in early stages. Although a limited number of treatment options for melanoma currently exist, patients with a more aggressive form of this cancer frequently decline treatment. DM-1 is a sodium phenolate and curcumin analog with proven anticancer, anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic properties. In this paper, the DM-1 compound showed in vivo antitumor activity alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic DTIC in B16F10 melanoma-bearing mice. Beneficial effects such as melanoma tumor burden reduction with pyknotic nuclei, decreased nuclei/cytoplasmic ratio and nuclear degradation occurred after DM-1 treatment. No toxicological changes were observed in the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs after DM-1 monotherapy or DTIC combined therapy. DTIC+DM-1 treatment induced the recovery of anemia arising from melanoma and immunomodulation. Both DM-1 treatment alone and in combination with DTIC induced apoptosis with the cleavage of caspase-3, -8 and -9. Furthermore, melanoma tumors treated with DM-1 showed a preferential apoptotic intrinsic pathway by decreasing Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Considering the chemoresistance exhibited by melanoma towards conventional chemotherapy drugs, DM-1 compound in monotherapy or in combination therapy provides a promising improvement in melanoma treatment with a reduction of side effects.
Faião-Flores, F., Suarez, J. A. Q., Fruet, A. C., Maria-Engler, S. S., Pardi, P. C., & Maria, D. A. (2015). Curcumin analog DM-1 in monotherapy or combinatory treatment with dacarbazine as a strategy to inhibit in vivo melanoma progression. PLoS ONE, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118702