Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Pandey, Siyaram (Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Keywords

Biochemistry.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer notorious for its aggressiveness and chemo-resistance to standard anti-cancer therapy. Most of the current chemotherapeutic agents e.g. doxorubicin, cisplatin, taxanes and etoposide are highly toxic to non-cancerous cells. In this thesis my objective was to evaluate the effects of a new wave of natural products: pancratistatin (Hymenocallis littorale), dandelion root extract (DRE, from Taraxacum Officinale) and curcumin (from Curcuma longa) on chemo-resistant melanoma cells. I also investigated the mitochondria-targeting potential of tamoxifen (an estrogen antagonist) in sensitizing melanoma cells to the effects of pancratistatin and curcumin in combinatorial treatments. All the natural products are efficient in inducing apoptosis in melanoma cells. Interestingly, pancratistatin and curcumin were very effective when combined with tamoxifen (eliciting a synergistic response), and are non-toxic to normal fibroblasts. Therefore, this thesis provides evidence of potential anti-cancer therapies and non-toxic combinations to this deadly cancer.

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