Study Suggests Chlorella Inhibits Growth in Some Tumor Types


Lung cancer is a cancer type that starts in the lungs. Your lungs are two porous organs in your chest that bring in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide if you exhale.

Cancer that starts in the lungs is called primary lung cancer. It grows from the lungs to different places in the body is identified as secondary lung cancer. There are two main kinds of primary lung cancer. These are distinguished by the type of cells in which the disease begins spreading. They are:

  • non-small-cell lung cancer – the most prevalent form, considering more than 87% of cases. It can be one of three types: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or large-cell carcinoma.
  • small-cell lung cancer – a less popular form that usually spreads quicker than non-small-cell lung cancer


Marine microalgae are a reservoir of biologically active compounds and are extensively utilized as a nutritional supplement in East Asian countries. It has been published that Chlorella or Chlorella extracts have several useful pharmacological compounds that accentuate immune responses; yet, no researches have investigated the anti-cancer results of Chlorella sorokiniana (CS) on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most prevalent type of lung cancer, and the 5-year survival rate for sufferers with this condition is about 22 %. Current therapies for NSCLC, such as operation, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, are not adequate, and the results of medication remain inadequate because of drug resistance and toxicity.

Cells experience cell death in two major signaling pathways, particularly the mitochondria-dependent pathway (intrinsic pathway) or the cell surface necrosis receptor signaling pathway (extrinsic pathway) [19]. Caspases play essential functions in command of cell death and infection.


  1. vulgaris has been conferred to have anti-cancer influences by inducing apoptosis, indicating cascades in the hepatoma cell line HepG2 and rat models of liver cancer. Research contrasting the anti-proliferative influences of C. ellipsoidea with those of C. vulgaris in human colon cancer cells showed that the apoptosis-inducing effect of C. ellipsoidea extract was approximately 2.5 times more potent than that of C. vulgaris extract.

The study also observed that oral feeding of CS appeared in a tagged decrease in tumor size in a xenograft tumor subject model in mice. The results, therefore, show that CS urges apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. The lack of mitochondrial membrane potential is linked with apoptosis via the management of Bcl-2 family members.

The results revealed that the vulnerability of the two cell lines to CS appeared in a concentration-dependent decrease in cell viability. Also, the rate of apoptotic cells rose in a dose-dependent manner, implying that CS might influence apoptosis in human NSCLC cells. Besides, the study also found that the increase of the tumor of subcutaneous xenograft in vivo was markedly restrained after the oral intake of CS.