Affiliation: Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science, 43400, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Flavokawain A is a chalcone that can be found in the kava-kava plant (Piper methsyticum) extract. The kava-kava plant has been reported to possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities. The state of the immune system, and the inflammatory process play vital roles in the progression of cancer. The immunomodulatary effects and the anti-inflammatory effects of flavokawain A in a breast cancer murine model have not been studied yet. Thus, this study aimed to elucidate the basic mechanism as to how flavokawain A regulates and enhance the immune system as well as impeding the inflammatory process in breast cancer-challenged mice. Based on our study, it is interesting to note that flavokawain A increased the T cell population; both Th1 cells and CTLs, aside from the natural killer cells. The levels of IFN-γ and IL-2 were also elevated in the serum of flavokawain A-treated mice. Apart from that, flavokawain A also decreased the weight and volume of the tumor, and managed to induce apoptosis in them. In terms of inflammation, flavokawain A-treated mice had reduced level of major pro-inflammatory mediators; NO, iNOS, NF-KB, ICAM and COX-2. Overall, flavokawain A has the potential to not only enhance antitumor immunity, but also prevents the inflammatory process in a cancer-prone microenvironment.