Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Oncology, Cancer Prevention Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Payame Noor Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Several studies have reported the anticancer effect of phycocyanin C, a natural extract isolated from the algae Arthrospira platensis. However, its therapeutic effects on the growth of breast cancer and its metastasis have not been determined yet.
Methods: In this case-control study, we employed phycocyanin C for the treatment of 4T1 breast tumor as an applicable experimental animal model for human mammary cancer and metastasis. BALB/c mice were injected subcutaneously (s.c) into the 4th abdominal mammary fat pad with 1×106 4T1 cells. We randomly divided the mice into two groups; one group of mice were injected with PBS as the control, and the other group was intraperitoneally injected with phycocyanin C (80 mg/kg daily for 20 days). Tumor growth and metastasis were assessed in both groups.
Results: Phycocyanin C significantly inhibited 4T1 breast tumors growth (p <0.05). The mean tumors volumes at the control group were 2.73 times higher than those of the treatment group. In addition, phycocyanin C treatment could significantly inhibit the formation of metastasis colonies at vital organs like spleen, liver, and lung. Moreover, the survival rate of the tumor-bearing mice increased after about 22 days by phycocyanin C treatment in comparison with the control.
Conclusion: This is the first report demonstrating the anti-cancer effects of phycocyanin C on 4T1 breast tumor in vivo. Overall, our findings provided convincing evidence for the application of phycocyanin C as an anti-cancer therapeutic agent.


This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination, and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi:10.30476/mejc.2020.83064.1130