Hydrogen-rich water exerts anti-tumor effects comparable to 5-fluorouracil in a colorectal cancer xenograft model

Alex Tarnava, Asma Mostafapour, Fereshteh Asgharzadeh, Majid Khazaei, Tyler W. LeBaron

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DOI: 10.4251/wjgo.v14.i1.242 DOI is the universal ID for this study.

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Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Tumor removal remains the preferred frontline treatment; however, effective non-surgical interventions remain a high priority. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is a widely used chemotherapy agent, and molecular hydrogen (H2) has been recognized for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, with research also suggesting its potential anti-tumor effects. Therefore, H2 dissolved in water [hydrogen-rich water (HRW)], with or without 5-FU, may present itself as a novel therapeutic for CRC. Aim: To investigate the effects of HRW, with or without 5-FU, as a novel therapeutic for CRC.

Methods: CRC was induced in the left flank of inbred Balb/c mice. A total of 24 mice bearing tumors were randomly divided into four groups (n = 6 per group) and treated as follows: (1) Control group; (2) 5-FU group that received intraperitoneal injection of 5-FU (5 mg/kg) every other day; (3) H2 group that received HRW, created and delivered via dissolving the H2-generating tablet in the animals' drinking water, with 200 μL also delivered by oral gavage; and (4) The combination group, H2 (administered in same way as for group three) combined with 5-FU administered same way as group two.

Results: Administration of HRW + 5-FU significantly improved tumor weight, tumor size, collagen content and fibrosis as compared to the CRC control group. Specifically, HRW attenuated oxidative stress (OS) and potentiated antioxidant activity (AA), whereas 5-FU treatment exacerbated OS and blunted AA. The combination of HRW + 5-FU significantly reduced tumor weight and size, as well as reduced collagen deposition and the degree of fibrosis, while further increasing OS and decreasing AA compared to administration of 5-FU alone.

Conclusion: Administration of HRW, with or without 5-FU, may serve as a therapeutic for treating CRC.

Publish Year 2022
Country Iran
Rank Positive
Journal World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Primary Topic Intestine
Secondary TopicCancer
Model Mouse
Tertiary TopicNovel Therapy
Vehicle Water (Dissolved)
pH Alkaline
Application Ingestion