Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Indian Medicine Compound May Hold Clues to Prostate Cancer Prevention

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 30, 2007) − A University of Kentucky researcher has received funding to investigate an herbal compound used in Indian medicine that may have anti-prostate cancer mechanisms.

The National Institute for Health (NIH) has awarded Damodaran Chendil, assistant professor at the UK College of Health Sciences, Division of Clinical and Reproductive Sciences, $1.1 million to investigate the compound.

In previous studies, Chendil reported that the herbal preparation Rasagenthi Lehyam (RL), an herbal formulation used in Indian medicine, is an effective treatment for prostate cancer in an animal model.  The most potent compound of RL is psoralidin, which proved to have more potent anti-cancer effects in prostate cancer cells compared to the other isolated compounds identified in RL.  The action of psoralidin inhibits cancerous cell growth and tumor survival. Importantly, Chendil found psoralidin targets cancer cells without causing significant toxicity to normal prostate cells.

The focus of Chendil's current research will be to study how psoralidin functions to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells and tumors. The results of the study may lead to the identification of biomarkers for prostate cancer and the development of chemotherapeutic and/or chemopreventive strategies for prostate cancer.  Very little is known about psoralidin and Chendil's research is the first to study its action on prostate cancer cells.

"Treatment for cancer usually involves physically intense and expensive drug therapy, often with unwanted side effects," Chendil said.  "Some scientists suggest that cures for cancer and other diseases can be found in nature and such treatments may produce less harmful side effects.  I am excited about the potential this natural compound holds in helping to combat one of the most deadly cancers."

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the U.S. and many Western countries.  African-American men have had higher incidence and at least double the mortality rates compared to men of other racial and ethnic groups. Although early diagnosis of prostate cancer has improved significantly in recent years, there is a need for more effective treatment strategies for patients presenting with advanced or metastatic disease.  Risk factors for prostate cancer include: age, since 65 percent of cases diagnosed occur in men over 65, race and family history of the disease.

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty or inability to urinate
  • Painful or burning urination

Anti malarial herbal preparaion in UGANDA

click here to download

RASAGENTHI LEGIUM - lung cancer-research report

A herbal medicine for the treatment
of lung cancer

Rama S. Ranga,1 Srinivasan Sowmyalakshmi,1 Ravshan Burikhanov,2
Mohammed A. Akbarsha3 and Damodaran Chendil1
1Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA; 2Department of
Radiation Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA; 3Department of Animal Science,
Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, India
Received 21 March 2005; accepted 2 June 2005

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths throughout the world. Extracts of medicinal plants are believed to
contain different chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic compounds. In this study, we determined the anti-cancer property of
one of the traditional Indian medicine Rasagenthi Lehyam (RL) for the treatment of lung cancer. Two lung cancer cell lines
(A-549 and H-460) and one normal bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cell line were used to test the chemotherapeutic effect of
RL. Out of five fractions of RL, chloroform fraction of RL (cRL) demonstrated a significant inhibition of cell proliferation
and induction of apoptosis in A-549 and H-460 cells but not in normal BEAS-2B cells. The cRL fraction up-regulated the
pro-apoptotic genes p53 and Bax and induced caspase-3 activation, and down-regulated the pro-survival gene Bcl-2 in both the
lung cancer cell lines. Also, nuclear export of p53 was seen in cRL-treated lung cancer cells. In addition, cRL induced G2/M
arrest of cell cycle and enhanced the radio-sensitivity of both the lung cancer cell lines. This study suggests that cRL may prove
to be a potent anti-cancer agent that may be used for the treatment of lung cancer. However, further studies are required to bring
cRL into the mainstream of medicine in the treatment of lung cancer. (Mol Cell Biochem 280: 125–133, 2005)
Key words: anti-cancer activity, apoptosis, herbal medicine, lung cancer, radio-sensitisation
Lung cancer is the most common cancer throughout the
world, particularly in the United States [1] and it accounts
for 14% of all cancers and 28% of all cancer-related deaths
worldwide [2, 3]. Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for
lung cancer patients, but in spite of its ability to improve the
symptoms and the quality of life of the patients with lung cancer,
only a minimal increase in survival rate can be achieved
[4, 5]. Along with palliative care, many cancer patients tend to
use alternative medicines, among which herbal therapies are
more common [6, 7]. Natural products are lead molecules
for many of the drugs that are currently in use [8]. Herbal
Address for offprints: D. Chendil, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Room 209D, 900 South Limestone
Street, Lexington, KY-40536-0200 (E-mail: dchen2@uky.edu)
medicines derived from plant extracts are being increasingly
utilized to treat a wide variety of clinical conditions; however,
the scientific basis regarding their modes of action is
limited. Extracts of medicinal plants are believed to contain
different chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic compounds,
which possess more than one mechanism of action.
The induction of apoptosis is known to be an efficient strategy
for cancer therapy. Several studies have demonstrated that
extracts from herbal medicines or mixtures have anti-cancer
potential [9, 10] in vitro and in vivo [11, 12]. Recently, several
dietary phytochemicals that play a significant role in the
anti-carcinogenic process have been identified. Apoptosis is
regulated by various genes such as p53, Bcl2 and Bax [13, 14]