Can a synergistic activation of pattern recognition receptors by plant immunomodulators enhance the effect of oncologic therapy?

Case Report of a patient with uterus and ovary sarcoma

Tibor Hajto *, Lilla Baranyai1, Angelika Kirsch2, Monika Kuzma1 and Pal Perjési1
1Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Medical University Pecs, Hungary
2Medical Office, Paradiestrasse 14, CH-4102 Binningen, Switzerland


Background: Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that similar to microbes various plant extracts can also contain Pathogenic Associated Molecular Pattern (PAMP)-like structures which can activate type-1 cellular functions of the innate immune system. Since they are important in tumor defense and the chemical production of PAMP structures is hardly accomplishable, the plant extracts standardized concerning their PAMP like structures may be promising for future tumor therapy.

Method: The synergistic effect of two standardized plant immunomodulators was monitored by the hemocytological measurement of the peripheral level of Natural Killer (NK) cells. Suboptimal doses of mistletoe lectins (ML) and Arabinoxylan in MGN-3 were compared using healthy volunteers.

Results: 24h after a single suboptimal dose (15 mg/kg) of Arabinoxylan in MGN-3 an average increase (+/-SEM) in NK level was 46.4 (+/-36)% and 24h after a single suboptimal (0.45 ng/kg) ML injection a 36 (+/-13) % enhancement was found. If these suboptimal doses of Arabinoxylan and ML were given together, a highly significant enhancement (293 +/-41%) was established indicating a high significant synergism between them (p<0.001). A patient with uterus and ovary sarcoma was not able to tolerate the CYVADIC chemotherapy. After its combination with ML and Arabinoxylan using optimal doses: 0.75 ng/kg and 45 mg/kg respectively, she received six cycles CYVADIC and thereafter only immunotherapy was given. During the following five years she has regularly been tumor free.

Conclusion: The combination of standardized plant extracts with PAMP-like structures seems to open new perspectives in the supportive therapy of metastatic tumors. Further research is necessary.

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