Drug Discov Ther. 2019;13(2):114-117. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2013.01013)

Carbon dots have antitumor action as monotherapy or combination therapy

Xia JF, Kawamura Y, Suehiro T, Chen Y, Sato K


Carbon dots prepared from different sources have been widely studied in various medical applications. Those dots have been reported to be able to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, such as prostate cancer cells. The current study used carbon dots prepared from red beans to determine their effect on 16 cell lines including liver cancer cells, pancreatic cancer cells, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cells, and colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. In a cellular viability experiment, carbon dots were found suppress cancer cell viability in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In a cell migration experiment, cancer cells treated with carbon dots had less ability to heal, suggesting that carbon dots inhibit cell migration. In another cellular viability experiment, a combination of carbon dots and doxorubicin resulted in greater inhibition than cells treated with either therapy alone. These findings suggest that carbon dots could be an alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of cancers.

KEYWORDS: Carbon dots, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal adenocarcinoma, combination therapy

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