Cancer is one of the most serious diseases in man and the second most fatal disease, after atherosclerosis. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African American w/omen. Recentiy, interest in herbal extracts for the prevention and treatment of this disease has increased, for such extracts are considered to be safe, economically feasible, and effective. Withania somnifera (WS), commonly known as ashwagandha, has been used for many years in traditional medicine, especially in the treatment of human tumors, arthritis, and stress. This small, woody shrub, which grows about two feet in height, is found in Africa, the Mediterranean, India, and the United States, where it is known as winter cherry. Preliminary data from our laboratory, obtained on a previous pilot project, funded by the MSM/TU/UAB CCC Partnership, show that daily administration of a root extract of WS (given as an oral dose of 300 mg/kg for 21 days) causes 99% growth inhibition of breast cancer cells xenografted in mice. The main goal ofthis proposal is to determine a safe and efficacious dose of WS for use in rats for chemoprevention in methylnitrosourea (MNU)-induced mammary tumors and in mice for therapy of xenografted breast cancer cells. In addition, the effect ofthe WS root extract, alone and in combination with tamoxifen, will be evaluated in a panel of breast cancer cell lines in vitro. The molecular effects of WS extract will be evaluated by using slices of tumors obtained from treated animals and breast cancer cells exposed to the extract.

Public Health Relevance

This study could provide a basis for the clinical use of a safe and efficacious anti-tumor drug. By reducing the doses of standard drugs and the cost of treatment, such a drug could provide effective therapy and also reduce the suffering of breast cancer patients caused by the side effects of currently used anti-cancer medicines and treatments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRLB-Y)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Tuskegee University
United States
Zip Code
Akintobi, Tabia Henry; Lockamy, Elise; Goodin, Lisa et al. (2018) Processes and Outcomes of a Community-Based Participatory Research-Driven Health Needs Assessment: A Tool for Moving Health Disparity Reporting to Evidence-Based Action. Prog Community Health Partnersh 12:139-147
Angajala, Anusha; Mothershed, Essynce; Davis, Melissa B et al. (2018) Quadruple Negative Breast Cancers (QNBC) Demonstrate Subtype Consistency among Primary and Recurrent or Metastatic Breast Cancer. Transl Oncol 12:493-501
Davis, Melissa; Tripathi, Shweta; Hughley, Raymond et al. (2018) AR negative triple negative or ""quadruple negative"" breast cancers in African American women have an enriched basal and immune signature. PLoS One 13:e0196909
Angajala, Anusha; Lim, Sangbin; Phillips, Joshua B et al. (2018) Diverse Roles of Mitochondria in Immune Responses: Novel Insights Into Immuno-Metabolism. Front Immunol 9:1605
Abisoye-Ogunniyan, Abisola; Lin, Huxian; Ghebremedhin, Anghesom et al. (2018) Transcriptional repressor Kaiso promotes epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastasis in prostate cancer through direct regulation of miR-200c. Cancer Lett 431:1-10
Mukherjee, Angana; Hollern, Daniel P; Williams, Oluwasina G et al. (2018) A Review of FOXI3 Regulation of Development and Possible Roles in Cancer Progression and Metastasis. Front Cell Dev Biol 6:69
Gao, Song; Wang, Yicun; Wang, Meng et al. (2017) MicroRNA-155, induced by FOXP3 through transcriptional repression of BRCA1, is associated with tumor initiation in human breast cancer. Oncotarget 8:41451-41464
Zhang, Yifan; Li, Bingjin; Zhang, Xingyi et al. (2017) CD24 is a genetic modifier for risk and progression of prostate cancer. Mol Carcinog 56:641-650
Li, Li; Masood, Awais; Bari, Shahla et al. (2017) Autoimmune Diabetes and Thyroiditis Complicating Treatment with Nivolumab. Case Rep Oncol 10:230-234
Woods-Burnham, Leanne; Basu, Anamika; Cajigas-Du Ross, Christina K et al. (2017) The 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell line carries mixed genetic ancestry: Implications for prostate cancer health disparities research using pre-clinical models. Prostate 77:1601-1608

Showing the most recent 10 out of 141 publications