The use of some plant extracts as an alternative approaches for treatment of certain malignant cell lines
Dr. Abboud Y El Kichaoui, Dr. Basem M Ayesh and Dr. Saeb Aliwaini
In Palestine like in other countries of the world, cancer is one of the most serious health problems that affect the duration and quality of the individuals’ life. Enormous efforts are invested to cope with this problem, but unfortunately, limited success has ever been achieved with most of the therapeutic strategies. These efforts are usually complicated with the need for well experienced surgeons, lack of specificity and high cost, as well as being usually accompanied with a wide range of side effects. As the conventional therapeutic strategies fail to fulfill the major requirements for a successful cancer therapy, the use of naturally developed anticancer agents has evolved as an alternative safe, low-cost and convenient one. Therefore, the use of plant extracts with potential anticancer therapeutic effects might be particularly significant, especially in Palestine, which is rich in thousands of plant species known for their medical uses.
The current study, investigates the effect of crude water extracts from Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), Fig (Ficus carica) and Nettle (Urtica pilulifera) on cell lines derived from different human tissue origins (Hep3b: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hela: cervical epithelial cancer; and PC-3: prostate cancer). The results showed a concentration-dependent reduction in the final number of cancer cells in consequence to treatment with the aforementioned crude extracts. Two kinds of anticancer effects were evaluated and found to contribute to this reduction: the anti-proliferation effect (decreased number of metabolically active cells) and cytotoxicity (decreased number of live cells). The three plants examined possess both of the effects with various degrees. Urtica pilulifera possess the strongest and most profound effects on the three cell lines, mainly by induction of cell death. On the other hand, Lagenaria siceraria probably affects the three cell lines by a combination of cytotoxicity and antiproliferation almost to a similar degree. Ficus carica most probably reduces the final number of metabolically active cells mainly by its antiproliferative effect.
Both Ficus carica and Lagenaria siceraria are edible plants that were chosen on the bases of being mentioned in the holy Quran. Therefore, although their effect is lower than that of Urtica pilulifera their amount in the diet or as a treatment can be safely scaled up when ingested in their native form. On the other hand, despite its possible toxicity Urtica pilulifera is frequently orally used as a medication in many conditions by traditional medicine.
Further studies are needed to assess the active ingredients of Ficus carica, Lagenaria siceraria and Urtica pilulifera, involved in the antiproliferative or cytotoxic effects of these plants.
Dr. Abboud Y El Kichaoui, Dr. Basem M Ayesh, Dr. Saeb Aliwaini. The use of some plant extracts as an alternative approaches for treatment of certain malignant cell lines. J Med Plants Stud 2016;4(4):174-188.