Virchow postulated the connection between chronic inflammation and cancer in 1863. Recently, research findings have been defining the chemical nature of that connection.
Dihydrodiol dehydrogenases (DDH) belong to a family of chemicals called aldo-keto reductases. These chemicals play a part in the metabolism of steroid hormone, prostaglandin and zenobiotics (chemicals foreign to our bodies). DDH overproduction by non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is related to poor prognosis and chemotherapy resistance. DDH expression is seen in chronic inflammatory conditions and cancer.
The goal of the study was to study DDH expression, drug resistance and inflammation in NSCLC. The authors were able to demonstrate that inflammatory chemicals, such as IL-6, induce DDH in NSCLC cells and cause resistance to chemotherapy drugs (such as adriamycin and cysplatin).
The authors show that the effects of DDH are inhibited by wogonin and chrysin, major flavonoids from Scutellaria baicalensis. The wogonin and chrysin could also overcome IL-6 induced drug resistance to adriamycin. Scutellaria is a traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Other flavonoids in Scutellaria include baicalin, baicalein, wogonoside, apigenin and scutellarein. Flavonoids are part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols found in plants.
CONCLUSION: Wognonin and chrysin are potential adjuvant or supporting therapies in drug-resistant NSCLC. These chemicals are flavonoids found in Scutellaria baicalensis.
NOTE: Scutellaria baicalensis is a Chinese herb that has the common name Skullcap. The Chinese name is Huang Chi. Chrysin is also found in Passionflower or Passiflora species. Read about chrysin as a proteasome inhibitor.