Low dose combinations of 2-methoxyestradiol and docetaxel block prostate cancer cells in mitosis and increase apoptosis

Teresita Reiner, Alicia de las Pozas, Lourdes A. Gomez, Carlos Perez-Stable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Clinical trials have shown that chemotherapy with docetaxel (Doc) combined with prednisone can improve survival of patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AI-PC). It is likely that the combination of Doc with other novel agents would also improve the survival of AI-PC patients. We investigated whether the combination of Doc and 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME2), an endogenous metabolite of estradiol promising for cancer therapy, can increase apoptotic cell death in prostate cancer cells. Low concentration 2ME2 (0.5-1 μM) + Doc (0.05-0.1 nM) combinations inhibit cell growth, increase G2/M cell cycle arrest, and increase apoptosis more effectively than the single concentrations in a variety of human AI-PC cells. Effects on apoptosis were associated with an increase in p53 protein and a decrease in cyclin A-dependent kinase activity. We then investigated whether the combination of 2ME2 + Doc can increase apoptotic cell death and inhibit the growth of prostate tumors in the FG/Tag transgenic mouse model of AI-PC. Doses of 2ME2 and Doc that increase mitotic cell cycle arrest result in an increase in apoptosis and lower primary prostate tumor weights in FG/Tag mice. High dose 2ME2 + Doc combinations did not increase G2/M cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in AI-PC cell lines and in the FG/Tag mice more than the single drugs. Overall, our data indicate that low dose 2ME2 + Doc combinations may provide a treatment strategy that can improve therapeutic efficacy against AI-PC while reducing toxicity often seen in patients treated with Doc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalCancer letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 8 2009



  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cyclin B1
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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