Title

Exploiting the Complexity of Lemongrass and Hibiscus Extracts in Developing Potent Anti-Cancer Agents

Prize Winner

Best Research Talk

Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Start Date

31-3-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 3:20 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Siyaram Pandey

Abstract

For the hundreds of thousands suffering from the toxic side effects of conventional cancer treatment options, the need for safer and more effective treatment is all too real. Touted as both safe and effective, traditional medicines have been using whole, natural plant extracts for thousands of years. However, the current body of medical knowledge fails to support the use of such extracts, as they have received very little scientific investigation. The goal of this project is to confirm the anti-cancer properties of lemongrass and hibiscus extracts, uncover their mechanisms of action, and determine whether they show any efficacy in sensitizing cancer cells to current forms of chemotherapy in a bid to reduce or abrogate the negative side effects of treatment. Results indicate that both lemongrass extract and a combination of lemongrass and hibiscus extracts effectively induce apoptosis in in vitro Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells. Further analysis shows the destabilization of the mitochondrial membrane in this process. Changes were also exhibited in cell death gene expression. Preliminary results suggest lemongrass and hibiscus as individual treatments exhibit anti-cancer properties and are well-tolerated in vivo. These findings indicate a potential use of these extracts as novel cancer therapies and therefore demand further investigation. Future work will focus on the permanency of the drugs’ anti-cancer effect and will analyze the impact of pre-treating cancer cells with the extracts before treating with a common Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma chemotherapy regimen. These extracts may play a role in enhancing the quality of life for patients with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma by improving upon current cancer treatment options.

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Mar 31st, 2:00 PM Mar 31st, 3:20 PM

Exploiting the Complexity of Lemongrass and Hibiscus Extracts in Developing Potent Anti-Cancer Agents

For the hundreds of thousands suffering from the toxic side effects of conventional cancer treatment options, the need for safer and more effective treatment is all too real. Touted as both safe and effective, traditional medicines have been using whole, natural plant extracts for thousands of years. However, the current body of medical knowledge fails to support the use of such extracts, as they have received very little scientific investigation. The goal of this project is to confirm the anti-cancer properties of lemongrass and hibiscus extracts, uncover their mechanisms of action, and determine whether they show any efficacy in sensitizing cancer cells to current forms of chemotherapy in a bid to reduce or abrogate the negative side effects of treatment. Results indicate that both lemongrass extract and a combination of lemongrass and hibiscus extracts effectively induce apoptosis in in vitro Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells. Further analysis shows the destabilization of the mitochondrial membrane in this process. Changes were also exhibited in cell death gene expression. Preliminary results suggest lemongrass and hibiscus as individual treatments exhibit anti-cancer properties and are well-tolerated in vivo. These findings indicate a potential use of these extracts as novel cancer therapies and therefore demand further investigation. Future work will focus on the permanency of the drugs’ anti-cancer effect and will analyze the impact of pre-treating cancer cells with the extracts before treating with a common Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma chemotherapy regimen. These extracts may play a role in enhancing the quality of life for patients with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma by improving upon current cancer treatment options.