Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

3-29-2015

Degree Program

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

Advisor Name

Sallie

Advisor Middle Initial

S

Advisor Last Name

Schneider

Abstract

Melanoma remains an aggressive form of skin cancer with limited treatment options. Novel methods to treat primary tumors and prevent metastatic disease can lead to improved survival for those diagnosed with melanoma. Through this work, we have evaluated the antineoplastic effects of Rhodiola crenulata (R. crenulata) root extracts on B16-F10 melanoma both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we observed that R. crenulata treatment resulted in an increased cell death as well as a reduced cell growth, proliferation and migration in vitro. Additionally, we observed that R. crenulata decreased the expression of integrin β1 and vimentin, and increased expression of E-cadherin upon in vitro treatment. Further, we observed in a topical R. crenulata based cream therapy, a more radial growth pattern of tumors as well as a reduced mitotic activity and increased tumor necrosis. Markedly, we observed that mice supplemented with R. crenulata orally in their drinking water also displayed reduced establishment of metastatic foci in a disseminated model of melanoma. Collectively, these findings reveal that R. crenulata exhibits striking anti-tumorigenic and anti-metastatic properties, and that this extract may increase survival and harbor potential novel adjuvant therapy for the treatment of melanoma.

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