Purpose Intestinal mucositis is a common adverse effect in patients undergoing radiotherapy and constitutes a treatment-limiting condition. Since no agents are yet known that can adequately guard against its development, the search continues to find safe and effective measures. The present study was intended to investigate whether the herbal preparation, STW 5, could offer a potentially effective agent in this respect.
Methods Intestinal mucositis was induced in rats by exposing them to whole body gamma-irradiation (6Gy). Rats were treated orally with STW 5 (5 or 10ml/kg) for five days before and two days after irradiation. One day later, rats were sacrificed and segments of small intestine were examined histologically. Intestinal homogenates and serum samples were used to assess relevant parameters for apoptosis and different markers for inflammation and oxidative stress.
Results Exposure to radiation produced dose-dependent extents of intestinal injury associated with apoptotic changes with high radiation levels. Apoptosis was associated with an increase in cytosolic calcium, depletion of mitochondrial cytochrome c, B-cell lymphoma-2 and complex I. Oxidative stress parameters (reduced glutathione, thiobarbituric acid reactive substance and total nitrate/nitrite) were deranged. Inflammation markers (tumor necrosis factor and myeloperoxidase) and indices of intestinal damage (serum diamine oxidase) were increased. STW 5 protected to a large extent against histological changes and counteracted the deranged parameters.
Conclusion The findings provide experimental evidence for the potential beneficial use of STW5 in protecting against the development of radiation-induced intestinal mucositis and associated changes in tissue biomarkers.
In Vitro Screening for the Tumoricidal Properties of International Medicinal Herbs
Elizabeth A. Mazzio and Karam F. A. Soliman*
College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida 32307, USAAbstract
There is growing use of anticancer complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) worldwide. The purpose of the current study is to assess a sizeable variety of natural and plant sources of diverse origin, to ascertain prospective research directives for cancer treatment and potential new chemotherapy drug sources. In this study, 374 natural extracts (10 μg/mL-5 mg/mL) were evaluated for dose-dependent tumoricidal effects using immortal neuroblastoma of spontaneous malignant origin. The findings indicate no pattern of tumoricidal effects by diverse plants with similar families/genus under the classes Pinopsida, Equisetopsida, Lycopodiosida, Filicosida, Liliopsida Monocotyledons or Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons. The results indicate that many of the most commonly used CAMs exhibited relatively weak tumoricidal effects including cats claw, astragalus, ginseng, echinacea, mistletoe, milk thistle, slippery elm, cayenne, chamomile, don quai, meadowsweet, motherwort and shepherd's purse. The data demonstrate that the most potent plant extracts were randomly dispersed within the plantae kingdom (LC50 = 31-490 μg/mL) in order of the lowest LC50 Dioscorea villosa (Dioscoreaceae) > Sanguinaria canadensis (Papaveraceae) > Dipsacus asper (Dipsacaceae) > Populus balsamifera (Salicaceae) > Boswellia carteri (Burseraceae) > Cyamopsis psoralioides (Fabaceae) > Rhamnus cathartica (Rhamnaceae) > Larrea tridentate (Zygophyllaceae) > Dichroa febrifuga (Hydrangeaceae) > Batschia canescens (Boraginaceae) > Kochia scoparia (Chenopodiaceae) > Solanum xanthocarpum (Solanaceae) > Opoponax chironium (Umbelliferae) > Caulophyllum thalictroides (Berberidaceae) > Dryopteris crassirhizoma (Dryopteridaceae) > Garcinia cambogia (Clusiaceae) > Vitex agnus-castus (Verbenaceae) > Calamus draco (Arecaceae). These findings show tumoricidal effect by extracts of wild yam root, bloodroot, teasel root, bakuchi seed, dichroa root, kanta kari, garcinia fruit, mace, dragons blood and the biblically referenced herbs: balm of gilead bud, frankincense and myrrh gum.Keywords: herbs, screening, cancer, wild yam, frankincense, teasel, myrrh.