PROJECT OF MERIT
Janelle Mecias, Meaghan McDonald, Savannah Bradley, Albina Mikhaylova, Ph.D , Fatima Rehman, Ph.D
Dr. Fatima Rehman | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Biology
Introduction: Saffron is a spice which has been used throughout history for various therapeutic properties. Recently, it has also been documented to have significant anticancer effect on primary tumors. However, limited studies are found studying its effect on metastatic potential of cancers. The goal of our study was to explore the effect of saffron on migration and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells.
Methods: MDA468 breast carcinoma cells were treated with varying concentrations of Saffron and examined using Q-phase holographic time-lapse microscopy to measure the movement of cells over time. The anticancer activity of Saffron was confirmed using cell viability assays. Invasion and metastatic potential was studied using boyden-chamber and scratch wound assays. Finally, tumorigenicity of the cell line was examined through colony formation assays in the presence and absence of Saffron.
Results: Q-phase microscopy revealed reduction in projections and significantly reduced movements in cells after Saffron treatment. The inhibition of migration, cell mobility and invasion by Saffron was confirmed in scratch wound and boyden chamber assays (p<.05). Saffron extract resulted in inhibition of viability in a dose-dependent manner and colony formation assays found markedly reduced size and number of colonies.
Conclusions: Our results found saffron to be effective in decreasing breast cancer carcinoma cells MDA468’s viability, migration, and tumorigenicity. Future studies will examine its mechanism of action and will focus on delineating the pathways involved in its anticancer effects.