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Ginsenoside Rg3 enhances the inhibitory effects of chemotherapy on esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in mice.

[esophageal squamous cell carcinoma]

The present study was conducted in order to investigate the inhibitory effects of ginsenoside Rg3 combined with chemotherapy on Eca-109 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in mice. Tumor xenograft models were established in the right forelimb of 20 BALB/c nude mice by subcutaneous injection. The tumor-bearing mice were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups (n=5 per group) as follows: the control group (saline), the ginsenoside Rg3 alone group (6 mg/kg/day, once a day for 3 weeks), the chemotherapy alone group (paclitaxel 10 mg/kg/day + cisplatin 5 mg/kg/day on days 1, 7, 14 and 21) and the chemotherapy + Rg3 group (combined treatment). The length and width of the tumor were directly measured with calipers at different time points and the tumor volume (cm(3)) was calculated using the formula 0.52 × length × width(2) every other day. The mice were sacrificed by cervical dislocation following completion of therapy, the tumors were removed and weighed and the expression levels of Ki-67 were determined by immunohistochemistry. The results indicated that the coadministration of ginsenoside Rg3 significantly enhanced the inhibitory effects of chemotherapy on tumor growth. In addition, the expression levels of Ki-67 in the chemotherapy + Rg3 group were significantly lower compared to those in the other 3 groups. The chemotherapy + Rg3 group also exhibited the lowest microvascular density among all four groups. These findings suggested that ginsenoside Rg3 may improve the antitumor efficacy of chemotherapy in Eca-109 ESCC in mice.