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Pak J Pharm Sci. 2008 Apr;21(2):159-71.

Plant crude extracts could be the solution: extracts showing in vivo antitumorigenic activity.

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  • 1Protein Research Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, Mubarak City for Scientific Research and Technology Applications, Alexandria, Egypt.


Screening active compounds from plants lead to discover new medicinal drugs which have efficient protection and treatment roles against various diseases including cancer. In our study, extracts from different plants represent seeds of: Gossypium barbadense, Ricinus communis, Sesamum indicum, Nigella sativa, Vinca rosea and Melia azedarah; fruits of: Xanthium occidental; flowers of: Atriplex nummularia; barks of: Cinnamomum zeylanicum; latex of: Ficus carica and rhizomes of: Curcuma longa and Zingiber officinale were tested in vivo using three subsequent bioassays: the BST (Brine Shrimp Toxicity bioassay), AWD (Agar well diffusion antimicrobial bioassay) and AtPDT (Agrobacterium tumefaciens Potato Disc Tumor bioassay). AWD technique omitted any extracts have antimicrobial activities while BST omitted any extract did not has physiological activity and determined the various LC(50) of each plant extract. For the first time, using a range of concentrations in the AtPDT modified protocol allowed the detection of tumor promotion caused by extract represented by A. nummularia. Using cluster analysis leads to classifying the different plant extracts activities to six groups regarding to their toxicity, antitumor activities and both of them. The extracts from edible plants represent 50% of the first and the second group which have the highest antitumor activities represented in F. caraica (group 1) and C. longa (group 2) as well as the non-edible plant extracts of Gossypium barbadense and Ricinus communis. A comparison study between the edible and herbaceous plants different extracts for their antitumor activities was performed. We recommended using the modified protocols used in this study for investigating more plants and using crude plant extracts which have antitumor activities in cancer treatment. Edible plants, which show in vivo antitumor activities, are recommended as save sources for antitumor compounds.

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