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TUMOR INHIBITORS FROM PLANTS

Cancer
Cancer is a genetic disorder caused by DNA mutations that are mostly acquired spontaneously or induced by
environmental insults. Cancer is also known as neoplasia or tumor.
Cancer frequently show epigenetic changes like focal increases in DNA methylation and alteration in histone
modifications which is caused from mutation in genes that regulate modifications which alter the expression
or function of key genes that regulate fundamental cellular processes. These genetic alteration are heritable.
Pathology of cancer Factors of
cancer
Etiology of cancer
Genetic Environmental Other
The factors of cancer may be genetic or environmental. Factors Factors Factors

GENETIC FACTORS: Some evidences state that some Chemical


chromosomal abnormalities are associated with malignancy. Radiation
Factors
For example, Downs syndrome with leukemia. Certain rare
abnormalities do not run in family like nephroblastoma. There Immunological
is an association between certain histocompatibility antigens
and some malignancies like HLA-B8 and Hodgkins
lymphoma. Certain hereditary tumors are associated with Trauma
known mutations like retinoblastoma.
Psychological
CHEMICAL FACTORS: They damage the genes by
producing mutations. These may be nicotine, alcohol, asbestos,
or cytotoxic compounds that may come from Smoking, beverages, from working site or medicine and
hormones respectively.
INFECTIONS: A number of viruses have tendency to cause cancer by alterations in DNA like HIV infection.
RADIATION: Both ionizing and Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to DNA by generation of free radicals
which results in mutation.
IMMUNOLOGICAL: In case
of suppressed or deficient
immune system, it will be unable
to detect and eliminate neoplastic
cells. Normally it is detected by
altered cell surface receptor
which acts as antigen and
destroyed by immune system.
TRAUMA: Sometimes, chronic
irritation seems to initiate
tumors. This may be due to
faster rate of tissue proliferation
found in repair phase of chronic
inflammation which increases
likelihood of a neoplastic
mutation.
PSYCHOLOGICAL: It not
directly cause cancer but may cause autoimmune disorder or immune suppression which results in rising of
neoplastic cells.
Pathogenesis of cancer
The cancer may develop if the specific checks points are arrested or aborted which are re-entry to cycle from
G0 phase and movement from G1 to S phase and from G2 to M phase.
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Types of cancer
Benign Tumor Malignant Tumor
Tumor
The cancer cells are localized The cancer cells invade and destroy
other cells and the process is known as
Metastasis Benign Malignant
It is amenable to local surgical It can not be removed by localized Tumor Tumor
remove surgery
It may cause serious disease It can cause death
The benign tumor are designated The malignant tumor are designated
by attaching the suffix oma to similar to benign in addition to
the cell type from which the anatomical region name and usually
tumor arises. end in carcinoma, -sarcoma, -aemia.
For example (fibroma)
It has fewer mutations It has large mutations
If neoplasms arise in solid mesenchyma, then it is called sarcomas (fibrosarcoma).
Malignant neoplasms of epithelial cells are called carcinomas.
If carcinoma grow in a glandular pattern, then it is called adenocarcinomas.
If it produce squamous cells, then it is called squamous cell carcinomas.
The tumors having no differentiation are called poorly differentiated or undifferentiated carcinoma.
When tumor cells undergo divergent differentiation, then it is called mixed tumor.
For recognizable mature or immature cells or tissue representative of more than one germ cell layer, it is called
teratoma.
For a mass of disorganized tissue indigenous to the particular site, it is called Hamartoma.
For congenital anomaly consisting of a heterotropic rest of cells, it is Choristoma.

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PLANTS CONTAINING TUMOR INHIBITOR
Following plant contain tumor inhibitors:
1. Linum usitatissimum
2. Glycin max
3. Solanum lycopersicum
The crude drug obtained from the first two are flax seeds and soya bean.

Flax seeds/Linseed
BIOLOGICAL SOURCE: It is the dried, ripe seeds of Linum
Usitatissimum belonging to the family Linaceae.
COLLECTION: The plant is cultivated where sufficient
moisture is present. A moderate rainfall is better for the crop.
The crop is harvested in February and March before the
capsules are dried. Plants are cut close to the ground, dried in
field and then threshed to separate seeds.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:
Fixed oil 30-40%
Mucilage 6-10%
Linamarin (Cyanogenic glycoside)
Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside
Wax
Resin
Lecithin
Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside is the tumor inhibitor.
OH

HO
O

HO O
OH OCH 3
OH
O O
OH

HO OH
OH
H3CO
OH
Sescoisolariciresinol diglucoside

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Soya bean
BIOLOGICAL SOURCE: These are seeds
obtained from the legumes of Glycin max
belonging to the family Leguminosae.
COLLECTION: The plant is grown in summer.
The legumes are collected after 80-120 days of
planting.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:
Genistein
Daidzein
Lecithin
Proteins
Genistein is the main anti tumor. It is specific inhibitor of protein tyrosine kinase and also inhibitor of DNA
topoisomerase II due to which cell cycle specific events alter, apoptosis is induced and angiogenesis is
inhibited.
HO O

OH O
OHGenistein

It has been reported to reduce incidence of


Breast and Prostate cancer

Tomato Lycopenes
BIOLOGICAL SOURCE: It is a carotenoid principle that is obtained from fruit of Solanum lycopersicon
belonging to the family Solanaceae.
The main constituent which shows anti tumor activity is Lycopene which is a carotenoid.
CH3 CH3 CH3 CH3

CH3
H3C

CH3 CH3 CH3 CH3 Lycopene

It has been reported to reduce incidence of prostate, GIT, pancreas, cervix, bladder and skin cancer.

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References:
1. Biren Shah, A.K Seth Textbook of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry. 1ST Edition. SAUNDERS
ELSEVIER.

2. Kumar, Abbas, Aster Robbins Basic Pathology. 9TH Edition. SAUNDERS ELSEVIER

3. Russell J Greene and Norman D Harris Pathology and Therapeutics for Pharmacists: A basis for
clinical pharmacy practice. 3RD Edition. PHARMACEUTICAL PRESS (PhP)