Thiruvananthapuram: The scientists at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) along with the scientists at the Mayo Clinic, have found that the compound Plumbagin from common koduveli plants (Plumbago species) has enough anti-cancer properties to be developed into an effective anti-cancer drug. The findings have been published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Cancer.
It has been found that plumbagin cuts off new blood vessels to cancer cells, affecting its growth and proliferation. Besides, it induces apoptosis or cell death in cancer cells. These properties make plumbagin a potentially superior drug for cancer control. What is particularly interesting is that plumbagin does not attack normal cells. To kill a normal cell, you need to use plumbagin at a quantity eight times more than what is used to kill a cancer cell, explained Priya Srinivas, scientist at the RGCB, who did part of the research work at Mayo Clinic.
Priya studied at least 20 to 25 pure compounds derived from plants before she zeroed in on plumbagin. She was particularly looking for a compound that will be effective in cancer cells with a defective BRCA gene. In 10 per cent of breast cancer cases, a faulty BRCA gene is handed down the generations. Of the 90 per cent that is left, at least in 40 per cent, BRCA is rendered defective by chemical changes such as methylation. Plumbagin was found to be effective in both the cases, said Priya.
Another effect of plumbagin noticed
01:01 PM, Aug 29, 2012