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Identifying active components of Yang-Yin-Qing-Fei-Tang and its anti-cancer properties


In this study, researchers from China identified the active components of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) yang yin qing fei tang (YYQFT) and elucidated the mechanism behind its effect on non-small cell lung cancer. Their findings were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • YYQFT is a well-known TCM used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary emphysema, bronchitis and cytomegaloviral pneumonia, but its mode of action is still unclear.
  • To address this, the researchers first different solvents to obtain extracts from YYQFT. They then identified the most effective extract by assessing their effects on non-small cell lung cancer cell growth.
  • The researchers also identified several active compounds in YYQFT and found that quercetin is one of them.
  • They then tested the anti-tumor activity of quercetin in vivo using a lung cancer xenograft model in mice.
  • The researchers reported that quercetin at a concentration of 200 mcg/mL significantly reduced tumor volume without affecting the body weight of the mice.
  • Quercetin also induced apoptosis in tumor tissues by upregulating multiple apoptosis-related genes, such as p53, Bax and Fas.
  • Additionally, quercetin increased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that quercetin, as the main active component of YYQFT, is responsible for the inhibitory activity shown by this TCM on non-small cell lung cancer cell growth.

Journal Reference:

Li H, Tan L, Zhang JW, Chen H, Liang B, Qiu T, Li QS, Cai M, Zhang QH. QUERCETIN IS THE ACTIVE COMPONENT OF YANG-YIN-QING-FEI-TANG TO INDUCE APOPTOSIS IN NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2019;47(04):879–893. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x19500460



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