New study finds plant extract that selectively kills cancer cells
A study led by researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, stated that extracts from medicinal plant Anthocephalus Cadamba, when combined with a dye exposed to near infra-red light, can selectively kill cancer cells.
The multi-institutional study involves Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT, Hyderabad, Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, University of Hyderabad, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata.
According to the study, the synergistic activation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) mediated autophagy (the natural process of removing damaged cells) by light-triggered nanoliposomes can be a useful strategy for enhancing the anti-cancer potential of combinational therapies.
Done as a part of the PhD work of the students, the study has been recently published in the scientific journal Nanoscale. “We have taken organic solvent mediator extract from plant Anthocephalus Cadamba and then tested this extract on various cell lines, both normal healthy cell lines and cancer cell lines. We found that this extract from this plant is very selective in killing cancer cells,” Aravind Kumar Rengan from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad, told a leading media organisation.
The researchers did High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and found few components, two of them not reported earlier. They also found that this extract is highly hydrophobic. “We had to prepare a nanoformulation out of it which will help in cells to uptake this extract easily. We prepared that, tested and found that this is very selective in killing cancer cells.”
The team carried out some basic in-vitro analysis with cell lines in lab-level conditions. It then performed a pilot study in a mouse model. “We need to have a thorough in-vitro as well as animal studies to go towards translations,” he said. The team has said that they will carry on further analysis and will identify what all those particular contents in that extract which are causing selective cancer cell death. “Only then it will be easy to go for large-scale production of that particular extract.”
*Edited from an IANS report.