Pharmacognosy Research Group

1. Cellular And Molecular Studies On Hedera Nepalensis, Azadirachta India, Lavandula Stoechas, Spharanthus Indicus And Carissa Opaca For The Treatment Of Breast Cance

Cancer is a large group of diseases in which the cells undergoes cellular and molecular changes which leads to un-control cell cycle and growth. The breast cancer is a type cancer which originates in the lobules and the ducts that connect the lobules to nipple. If this cancer is diagnosed at early stage then it is called in-situ. At later stages when it got the ability to move to other site then it is called invasive. Based on this the breast cancer has been divided in four main classes: lobular carcinoma in situ, ductal carcinoma in situ, Invasive lobular carcinoma, and Invasive ductal carcinoma. The breast cancer is a lethal disease as it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Many studies have shown that, in US about 0.3 million breast cancer cases was expected with around 40 thousands deaths. In Pakistan it has been predicted that 1 in 9 Pakistani women will develop breast cancer at some stage of their life. The genetic variation in ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), checkpoint kinase 2 (CHEK2), breast cancer 1/2 (BRCA1/2) and RAD51 genes may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Moreover, spontaneous changes in p53, HER2/cerbB-2/neu and ERa/ERbalso lead to the breast cancer. Along with surgery and radiotherapy estrogen receptor pathway downregulators (tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) and HER2 antagonists (Herceptin) are the commonly used therapies for breast cancer. The current therapies for breast cancer are limited and expensive which make the treatment difficult for most of the Pakistani patients. These therapies also have very serious side effects and in countries like Pakistan there are limited chances for the breast cancer patient to survive. Therefore, there is an urgent need at national level to develop new and novel therapies for breast and other kind of cancer at local level which are more effective and less expensive as well as have little to no side effects. Since, human history plants have been used as a source of medicine and many modern drugs has been derived from these medicinal plants. Some pant-based natural products showed excellent anti-cancer activities. Pakistan is a natural habitat for a wide range of medicinal plants. Therefore, we designed the present study to find Pakistani origin anticancer medicinal plants. Based on its local therapeutic use as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug, we selected H. Nepalensis, N. sativa, A. Indica, C. Asiatica, L. Stoechas, S. Indicus and C. Opaca plants extract as a possible treatment remedy for breast cancer. Therefore, the aim of the current investigation is to study the role of these medicinal plants in breast cancer. Moreover, the present study will also be investigating the molecular and cellular mechanism of action of these plant extracts. Our studies do reveal an important healthcare issue and successful completion of the current study could be the mile-stone for new and novel drug therapy for the treatment of breast cancer.

Project Members
  • Dr. Fazli Wahid
  • Dr. Taous  Khan