Novel anti-angiogenic effects of formononetin in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft

Kathy K W AU YEUNG, Pui Ching Law, Joshua KO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Formononetin is a novel herbal isoflavonoid isolated from Astragalus membranaceus, a medicinal plant that possesses antitumorigenic properties. Our previous findings demonstrated that formononetin initiates growth-inhibitory and pro-apoptotic activities in human colon cancer cells. In the present study, we aimed to further examine the potential of formononetin in controlling angiogenesis and tumor cell invasive ness i n hu ma n colon ca nc er cel ls a nd t u m or xenog r a f t s. T he results showed that for mononetin downregulated the expression of the key pro-angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinases. We also discovered that the invasiveness of metastatic colon cancer cells was alleviated following drug treatment. The potential anti-angiogenic effect of formononetin was examined in nude mouse xenografts. The tumor size and the number of proliferating cells were reduced in the tumor tissues obtained from the formononetin-treated group. The serum VEGF level was also reduced in the drug-treated animals when compared to the controls. These findings suggest that formononetin inhibits angiogenesis and tumor cell invasion, and thus support its use in the treatment of advanced and metastatic colon cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2188-2194
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

User-Defined Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Cell invasiveness
  • Cell proliferation
  • Colon cancer
  • Formononetin


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