Zhizheng Zhao, Huiting Fan, Tim Higgins, Jia Qi, Diana Haines, Anna Trivett, Joost J. Oppenheim, Hou Wei, Jie Li, Hongsheng Lin, O.M. Zack Howard
Cancer pain is a deleterious consequence of tumor growth and related inflammation. Opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs provide first line treatment for cancer pain, but both are limited by side effects. Fufang Kushen Injection (FKI) is GMP produced, traditional Chinese medicine used alone or with chemotherapy to reduce cancer-associated pain. FKI limited mouse sarcoma growth both in vivo and in vitro, in part, by reducing the phosphorylation of ERK and AKT kinases and BAD. FKI inhibited TRPV1 mediated capsaicin-induced ERK phosphorylation and reduced tumor-induced proinflammatory cytokine production. Thus, FKI limited cancer pain both directly by blocking TRPV1 signaling and indirectly by reducing tumor growth.