Effects of Breast Milk Treatment on the Growth of Two Transformed Cell Lines
Both epidemiological studies and in vitro experiments suggested a potential activity of breast milk as anti-cancer biological fluid, which provides a promising area that needs more research. In this study, the effects of human whole milk samples (M1, M2, and M3) taken from three donors on the cell growth of REF and Hep-2 cell lines are tested. The cells were exposed to concentrations of 50, 67 and 75% of each milk sample for 72h. The results demonstrated that only treatment with M1 50%, M1 67% and M2 75% caused a significant decrease in cell growth of REF cells compared to the control. Hep-2 cells showed no significant growth response to the concentrations of the human milk samples used. When the results were analyzed concentration-wise regardless of the donor from whom the sample was taken, 50% milk caused significant growth inhibiting activity for REF cells only, while 75% milk exerted such activity on both REF and Hep-2 cell lines compared to control. When a comparison was made between the responses of the two cell lines to milk treatment, REF cells showed significantly decreased growth percentage compared to Hep-2 cells, but only with concentration of 50% milk. This study suggests that the cell growth inhibiting activity of whole breast milk is both sample- and concentration-dependent. However, milk samples in the present study might have lost some highmolecular weight biologically active constituents during their preparation to the cell growth assay. The use of paired transformed/non-transformed cell lines derived from the same cell type is recommended since such model provides more comparable results for the effects of human milk on cancer cells.