UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF THE INDIGENOUS ANTICANCER BIODIVERSITY IN THE INDO-HIMALAYAN HOTSPOTAbstract
Cancer is the one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Even though many treatments exists in treating and controlling the progression of the deadly disease cancer, yet important inadequacy for development remain. Several undesired side effects occur when cancer is treated using chemotherapy. Therapies of Mother Earth, that utilizes bioactive products derived from a plant in treating cancer, may lessen the side effects. North-East India is recognized as a rich ethnomedicinal asset. It contributes to the abundant reservoir of plant diversity and is recognized as one of the ‘biodiversity hotspots’ of the world reinforcing around 50% of the country’s biodiversity. There has been an increasing frequency of occurrence of cancer in developing countries like India, Nepal, and Pakistan which has serious implications on the morbidity and mortality in millions of people. Most of the Himalayan plants that have been reported are biologically active against different cancer types. The present statistics of cancer chemotherapy is bleak which is why there is an urgent need to develop and discover potent and novel agents for treating cancer. Over the years traditional herbal knowledge and scientific investigations of the unique biodiversity pool have contributed many potent and novel anticancer agents. About 50% of the modern drugs used clinically are explored from natural origin. Seventy-three anticancer medicinal plants have so far been documented that belongs to 62 genera and 39 families of which 51 plants were documented as from India followed by 22 plants which were reported from neighboring regions of Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. Majority of the prepare ethnomedicinal recipes constituted of roots (30% plants) and leaves (32% plants) in the decoction form. Thirty plants had reported with anticancer related pharmacological and phytochemical activities. From these plants, 32 were subjected to in-vitro studies on cellular models and 19 for in-vivo studies. Ethyl acetate and ethanolic extracts of plants were found showing excellent cytotoxic activities against stomach, blood cancer, and breast cell lines. 15 active secondary metabolites from the studied plants were reported active against different cancer cell lines including glycosides, terpenoids, alkynes, lignans, and phenolic compounds. Vigorous pharmacological investigation and detailed studies on the remarkable sub-Himalayan species is necessary to produce new anticancer drug leads for the development of novel drugs with lesser toxicity. However, this review will emphasize on numerous chemical compounds derived from Indo-Himalayan plants which in recent years have shown promising anticancer action and also their potential mechanism of action will be outlined.
K. Pathak *, R. Saikia, U. Gogoi and A. Das
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam, India.
05 March 2019
28 March 2019
30 March 2019
31 March 2019