Background. The role of a healthy and balanced diet in cancer prevention should never be underestimated; some nutritional factors can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy and contribute to increasing its effectiveness. Therefore, in recent years it has been thought to associate the administration of antioxidants to the chemotherapy approach that can protect non-tumor cells from the cytotoxic action of these drugs. However, the protective action of these substances could also limit the chemotherapy effects against the neoplastic cells themselves. Objective. In this context, the goal of this work was to test the viability of cultured human non-small lung cancer A549 cells in response to the combined administration of cisplatin (CDDP) and polyphenols. In particular, Annurca apple flesh polyphenol extract (AFPE) action was examined. Methods. A549 cells were treated with AFPE alone or in combination with CDDP and then cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. The effects of constituent polyphenols (+)-catechin, (–)-epicatechin, and caffeic acid) in AFPE were also evaluated. The cell morphology was observed by an inverted phase-contrast microscope. Results. CDDP reduced A549 cell viability in both concentration- and time-dependent manners. Polyphenols and CDDP coadministration did not interfere with the CDDP efficacy, in fact, the cellular vitality was found to be similar to that detected in the samples treated with CDDP alone. Conclusion. In conclusion, the co-administration of AFPE with CDDP does not interfere with its chemotherapy efficacy. Therefore, Annurca apple could be good candidates to act as antioxidant and potentially reduce the side effects of CDDP therapy, although the joint effect of AFPE and CDDP on normal cells is still unclear. More studies will be needed to analyze the molecular mechanism of AFPE and in vivo studies will also be needed to verify the anticancer effects. These findings may represent a starting point for the design of new clinical trials for use in cancer treatment.
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