Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Oral Cancer
Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 12;16(5):10748-10766
Head and neck cancers, which affect 650,000 people and cause 350,000 deaths per year, is the sixth leading cancer by cancer incidence and eighth by cancer-related death worldwide. Oral cancer is the most common type of head and neck cancer. More than 90% of oral cancers are oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The overall five-year survival rate of OSCC patients is approximately 63%, which is due to the low response rate to current therapeutic drugs.
In this review we discuss the possibility of using caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) as an alternative treatment for oral cancer. CAPE is a strong antioxidant extracted from honeybee hive propolis. Recent studies indicate that CAPE treatment can effectively suppress the proliferation, survival, and metastasis of oral cancer cells. CAPE treatment inhibits Akt signaling, cell cycle regulatory proteins, NF-κB function, as well as activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Therefore, CAPE treatment induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in oral cancer cells.
According to the evidence that aberrations in the EGFR/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling, NF-κB function, COX-2 activity, and MMPs activity are frequently found in oral cancers, and that the phosphorylation of Akt, EGFR, and COX-2 correlates to oral cancer patient survival and clinical progression, we believe that CAPE treatment will be useful for treatment of advanced oral cancer patients.