• Thai folklore unveils anticancer drug

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Thai folklore unveils anticancer drug

Nov 02 2011

Posted by Ben Evans

Scientists have used quantitative analysis processes to determine the effect six natural plants have on liver cancer, known as human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2).

The study, which was undertaken by a team from Thailand and published in the Chinese Medicine journal, was prompted by 28 plants and recipes from Thai folklore medicine traditionally described as potential treatments for the disease.

Using quantitative analysis processes the scientists evaluated the cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction in HepG2 compared to normal African green monkey kidney epithelial cell lines.

Apoptotic induction was tested in the HepG2 cells with diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. DNA fragmentation, indicative of apoptosis, was analysed with agarose gel electrophoresis, while alkylation, which is indicative of DNA damage, was also evaluated.

All crude extracts showed different alkylating abilities in vitro, with extracts of P.kesiya, C. speciosum and C.orientalis causing nuclei morphological changes and DNA laddering and all three found to induce apoptosis.

"The extracts of C.speciosum, C. orientalis and P.kesiya induced apoptosis. Among the three plants, P.kesiya possessed the most robust anticancer activity, with specific selectivity against HepG2 cells," the report concluded.

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