Medicinal Plant Compound Shrinks Prostate Tumors In Mice

A compound derived from the neem plant, which is typically used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, has been shown to reduce prostate cancer tumor size by 70 percent in mice.

AsianScientist (Oct. 3, 2016) – A compound derived from the medicinal neem plant (Azadirachta indica) has been shown to shrink prostate tumors in mice, according to a study published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.

The neem plant belongs to the mahogany tree family that is originally native to India and the Indian sub-continent. It has been part of traditional Asian medicine for centuries and is typically used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Today, neem leaves and bark have been incorporated into many personal care products such as soaps, toothpaste, skincare and dietary supplements.

An international team led by Associate Professor Gautam Sethi from the National University of Singapore showed that nimbolide, a bioactive terpenoid compound derived from the neem plant, could shrink prostate tumors in mice. Upon 12 weeks of administering nimbolide to the mice, their prostate tumors shrank by as much as 70 percent and metastasis decreased by about 50 percent, with no significant adverse effects observed.

“Although the diverse anti-cancer effects of nimbolide have been reported in different cancer types, its potential effects on prostate cancer initiation and progression have not been demonstrated in scientific studies,” said Sethi.

“In this research, we have demonstrated that nimbolide can inhibit tumor cell viability—a cellular process that directly affects the ability of a cell to proliferate, grow, divide, or repair damaged cell components—and induce programmed cell death in prostate cancer cells.”

Looking ahead, the team is looking to embark on a large-scale study to analyze the side effects of nimbolide and identify other potential molecular targets for the drug.

The article can be found at: Zhang et al. (2016) Nimbolide-Induced Oxidative Stress Abrogates STAT3 Signaling Cascade and Inhibits Tumor Growth in Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate Model.


Source: National University of Singapore.
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