Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry


Cancer, Natural Health Products, Treatment


Pandey, Siyaram




Breast cancer is a growing problem worldwide. Currently used cancer therapy is effective against cancer, but also causes cell death in normal cells, thereby causing severe side effects in patients. There is a serious need for the development of more effective and safer alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation. Natural health products have been used for centuries to treat various forms of diseases, although many of the therapeutic benefits have not been scientifically studied for their efficacy and safety. The use of natural health products has led to the development of most of the chemotherapy currently used today. In this thesis, we evaluated three natural health products, lemongrass, eleuthero ginseng, and hibiscus, for their efficacy as a treatment against breast cancer. The main objectives of this thesis were the following: i) Evaluate the efficacy of each extract on breast cancer cells by analyzing their effects on metabolism, cell proliferation, and cell death induction. ii) Decipher each extract’s mechanism of action for cell death induction. iii) Evaluate the effects of combining extracts together, and using individual extracts to sensitize breast cancer cells to hormonal therapy. iv) Determine the effectiveness of these extracts in vivo. Our results indicate that all three natural health product extracts possess anticancer activity against both ER-positive and triple negative breast cancer. The results presented in this thesis offer some scientific validation for the use of natural health products, such as lemongrass, eleuthero ginseng and hibiscus extracts, in the treatment of breast cancer.