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Chemotherapeutic Agents Present in Medicinal Plants

Chemotherapeutic agents are the chemicals which are used in the Chemotherapy for the cancer treatment. Chemotherapy involves the use of these chemical agents for the cancer treatment. Plants are the very good source of Chemotherapeutic agents. The proper research on this field involving the use of natural organisms to treat cancer was started in 1950s. Now scientist are working on dozens of plants which can be used to cure that fatal disease. This use of plants to produce Chemotherapeutic agents tells the importance of traditional medicine in our lives which inexpensive as well as no side effects. Following is the list of some very common and useful plants which can be used for this purpose:

Catharanthus roseus


[caption id="attachment_341" align="alignright" width="300"]Catharanthus resous Medicinal Plant for cancer treatment Catharanthus resous
By Pancrat  [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Leaves of this tropical plant is was initially famous for its anti-diabetic effects but later, Robert L. Noble found two anti-cancer Chemotherapeutic agents in it. These two chemical are alkaloids and almost identical. These  two dimeric terpenoid indole alkaloids, vinblastine and vincristine are widely used in the Chemotherapy. These agents have toxic effects for the tumor cells. Scientist have working on it in vivo and in vitro for further research.

Momordica charantia


[caption id="attachment_369" align="alignright" width="345"]Momordica charantia as anticancer plant Momordica charantia - Rain-Tree.com[/caption]

Bitter melon was also known for anti-diabetic effect. Bitter melon extract (BME) is known for the anticancer effects. Breast cancer is the most major type of cancer in the USA, during the treatment of, women develops resistance against the chemotherapeutic drugs. BME is very good for treating this resistance. BME treatment of breast cancer cells resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death.Fruther Studies on Momordica charantia proves that this can be a good diet for the prevention and the treatment of the cancer as well:

  • It decrease the cell proliferation and Increase the apoptotic cell death

  • BME treatment enhanced p53, p21, and pChk1/2 and inhibited cyclin B1 and cyclin D1 expression which is a cell cycle regulation mechanism.

Melia azadirachta


[caption id="attachment_371" align="alignright" width="375"]Melia azedarach containg Chemotherapeutic agents Melia azedarach Bugwood[/caption]

12-O-Acetylazedarachin B is the chemotherapeutic agent present in this plant. This chemical works against the leukemia and stomach cancer cell lines. The anti-cancer effect of this chemical is due inducing the apoptosis. Scientist isolated three different steroids from it which target the three different cancer cell lines.

  • A549 - Its the human alveolar adenocarcinoma cell line.

  • H460 - This is the cancer cell line of the lungs

  • U251 - Human glioma (Glima cells of Nervous system) cell line



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