Background. The Chinese herbal mixture, Tien-Hsien liquid (THL), has been used as an anticancer dietary supplement for more than 20 years. Our previous studies have shown that THL can modulate immune responseand inhibit tumor growth. In this study, we further evaluated the effect of THL on anticancer immune response in mice vaccinated with γ-ray-irradiated tumor cells. Methods. The antitumor effect of THL was determined in mice vaccinated with low-tumorigenic CT-26-low colon cancer cells or γ-ray-irradiated high-tumorigenic CT-26-high colon cancer cells. The number of natural killer (NK) cells and T lymphocytes in the spleen was analyzed by flow cytometry. The tumor-killing activities of NK cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were analyzed by flow cytometry using YAC-1 and CT-26-high cells, respectively, as target cells. The levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, and TNF-α were determined by ELISA. Results. THL suppressed the growth of CT-26-high tumor in mice previously vaccinated with low-tumorigenic CT-26-low cells or γ-irradiated CT-26-high cells. THL increased the populations of NK cells and CD4+ T lymphocytes in the spleen and enhanced the tumor-killing activities of NK cells and CTL in mice vaccinated with γ-irradiated CT-26-high cells. THL increased the production of IFN-γ, IL-2, and TNF-α in mice vaccinated with γ-irradiated CT-26-high cells. Conclusion. THL can enhance the antitumor immune responses in mice vaccinated with killed tumor cells. These results suggest that THL may be used as a complementary medicine for cancer patients previously treated with killed tumor cell vaccines, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy.
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