[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eupatorium odoratum (EO) contains many biologically active compounds, the anticancer effects of which are not well documented. This study evaluates the cytotoxic effects and mechanism of action of EO extracts on MCF-7 and Vero cell lines. Evaluation of the cytotoxic activity using MTT assay, morphological alterations, and apoptosis were carried out. Autophagy was evaluated by LC3-A protein expression. Cytotoxic activity, membrane blebbing and ballooning at 24 hours, replacement by mass vacuolation, and double membrane vesicles mimicking autophagy and cell death were observed in the cancer cells. No apoptosis was observed by DNA fragmentation assay. Overexpression of LC3-A protein indicated autophagic cell death. Cell cycle analysis showed G0 and G2/M arrest. The Vero cells did not show significant cell death at concentrations <100 μg/mL. These results thus suggest that acetone and ethyl acetate extracts of EO induce cell death through induction of autophagy and hold potential for development as potential anticancer drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain tumors encompass a group of tumors with varying degrees of response to conventional treatments. Glioblastomas are the
deadliest and most common form of brain tumors. These are very aggressive and have a very poor survival rate. In addition
to the poor survival rate in brain tumors, the current modes of therapy are laden with severe and debilitating side effects.
The unique presence of blood–brain barrier in brain tumors makes its treatment more difficult as most of the currently used
drugs do not cross this barrier and reach the tumor cells. Further, the inflammation and edema induced by chemotherapy by
stimulation of eicosanoid producing enzymes, such as COX-2, the inaccessibility of the tumors for surgery add to the problem.
These problems call for the identification of novel compounds for the treatment of brain tumors. A number of plant products
are found to have anticancer activities and are capable of reducing the side effects of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Even though some of these are already in use for treatment of other cancers and have shown promise in Phase I and II brain
tumor clinical trials, no product has so far been cleared by US FDA to be a potential treatment drug for brain tumors. This
is mainly due to the lack of well-designed studies, lack of knowledge of the multiple targets of action of these drugs, its
side effects and interaction with the conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Recent studies focus on the mechanism of action
and the results show the action to mainly fall in the categories of antioxidant, induction of programmed cell death, regulation
of various cellular pathways and stimulation of immune response activities. No solid data is available to support the notion
that the antioxidant activity can interfere with radiotherapy. The same is the case with other side effects. However, some
patients respond better when herbal products are used as adjuvant therapy and hence it is advised by many oncologists. The
wide gap in the knowledge in the use of herbal therapy calls for more focused and dedicated research on these products as
main line or adjuvant treatments for brain tumors.