Combination of phytochemicals, including ginsenoside and curcumin, shows a synergistic effect on the recovery of radiation-induced toxicity

Min Sung Kim, Su Jeong Yang, Seo Yeong Jung, Tae Yong Lee, Jin Kyung Park, Yun Gyeong Park, So Youn Woold, Seong Eun Kimld, Ryung Ah Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiotherapy is commonly used to treat solid cancers located in the pelvis. A considerable number of patients experience proctitis of varying severity, even for a considerable period after radiotherapy. These side effects are often long-lasting or progressively worsen despite multiple therapeutic efforts and are a primary cause of an unexpectedly low quality of life, even after successful cancer treatment. Therefore, this study evaluated the individual and combined efficacy of ginsenoside, curcumin, butyric acid, and sucralfate compounds in treating radiation-induced proctitis. While the candidate compounds did not affect the proliferation and migration of cancer cells, they promoted the recovery of cell activity, including motility. They exhibited anti-inflammatory effects on human dermal fibroblasts or human umbilical vein endothelial cells within in vitro disease models. When each compound was tested, curcumin and ginsenoside were the most effective in cell recovery and promoted the migration of human dermal fibroblasts and cell restoration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The combination of ginsenoside and curcumin resulted in cell migration recovery of approximately 54%. In addition, there was a significant improvement in the length of the endothelial tube, with an increase of approximately 25%, suggesting that the ginsenoside-curcumin-containing combination was the most effective against radiation-induced damage. Furthermore, studies evaluating the effects of combined treatments on activated macrophages indicated that the compounds effectively reduced the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, including chemokines, and alleviated radiation-induced inflammation. In conclusion, our study provides valuable insights into using curcumin and ginsenoside as potential compounds for the effective treatment of radiation-induced injuries and highlights the promising therapeutic benefits of combining these two compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0293974
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1 January
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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Copyright: © 2024 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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