Berberine treats brain cancer better than Temozolomide

Berberine treats brain cancer better than Temozolomide

Berberine has a strong effect against brain cancer (GBM)

Chinese Medical Scientists from Shandong Medical School have shown that the herb Berberine down-regulates brain cancer cells better than Temozolomide in controlled in vitro experiments (1).

Previous studies have shown that Berberine exerts its effects through apoptosis and glioblastoma (GBM) cell death, however this study indicated a further unique action. The EGFR pathway was inhibited causing cell senescence and down-regulation. 

Glioblastomas particularly use EGFR signaling; but so do many other cancers. With Berberine the RAF-MEK-ERK was remarkably inhibited. 

The scientists ended their report on the study by saying that this was a completely new route discovered for the anti-cancer benefits of Berberine, and they felt Berberine should be seriously considered as a part of a package of treatments for brain cancer and Gliomas. 

This is certainly not the first time Berberine has been seen to have a benefit with brain cancer. There is research on its effects with breast cancer, cervical cancer and pancreatic cancer too.

Berberine has also been shown to regulate blood glucose levels as well as metformin and Berberine could be effective in diabetes. Blood glucose reduction also has an important benefit in the fight against cancer, and especially with brain tumours.

A year later, in 2016, researchers showed (2) that Berberine has ’profound effects’ on the metabolic state of Glioblastoma, GBM, cells causing apoptosis. This time the researchers showed inhibition of the AMPK/mTOR/ULK1 pathway.

Berberine is not strictly a herb but a compound within herbs being found in Goldenseal, Berberis and Oregon Grape Root.


1. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 Feb;14(2):355-63. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-0634. Epub 2014 Dec 12. 


2015 Research
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