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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6723807, 8 pages
Research Article

Combinatorial Antitumor Effect of Rapamycin and β-Elemene in Follicular Thyroid Cancer Cells

1School of Medicine, Taizhou University, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China
2Taizhou Enze Hospital, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China
3Taizhou Municipal Hospital, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China
4School of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Engineering, Taizhou University, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China
5Institute of Tumor, Taizhou University, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China

Received 24 December 2015; Revised 21 March 2016; Accepted 10 April 2016

Academic Editor: Goutam Ghosh Choudhury

Copyright © 2016 Jun Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. mTOR signaling would be a promising target for thyroid cancer therapy. However, in clinical trials, objective response rate with mTOR inhibitor monotherapy in most cancer types was modest. A new focus on development of combinatorial strategies with rapalogs is increasing. Objective. Investigating the combinatorial antitumor effect of rapamycin and β-elemene in follicular thyroid cancer cells. Methods. MTT assay was used to determine the FTC-133 cell proliferation after culturing with rapamycin and/or β-elemene. To analyze their combinatorial effect, immunoblotting was performed to analyze the activation status of AKT. Moreover, β-elemene attenuated rapamycin-induced immunosuppression was tested in mice. Results. Combination of rapamycin and β-elemene exerted significant synergistic antiproliferative effects in FTC-133 cell lines in vitro, based on inhibiting the AKT feedback activation induced by rapamycin. In vivo, the β-elemene could attenuate rapamycin-induced immunosuppression via reversing imbalance of Treg/Th17, with the underlying mechanism needed to be declared. Conclusions. We demonstrate that the novel combination of mTOR inhibitor with β-elemene synergistically attenuates tumor cell growth in follicular thyroid cancer, which requires additional preclinical validation.