Chinese Antitumor Herbal Drugs (2)

March 01, 2013

This post is the second chapter from the previous post Chinese Antitumor Herbal Drugs.

Sophora subprostrata Sophora flavescens
Sophora subprostrata Sophora flavescens Ait

The rhizome of Sophora subprostrata and Sophora flavescens Ait are also used as herbs in TCM. The alkaloids isolated from the root are known as matrine, oxymatrine, and sophocarpine, in which all of them possess anticancer activities. Matrine derived from Sophora flavescens Ait, which is widely used to treat diseases such as viral hepatitis, cardiac arrhythmia and skin inflammations, possesses strong antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo. (Ma L, et al. 2008) Matrine is found successfully induced the apoptosis and inhibited the in vitro and ex vivo in the growth of human lung cancer A549 and hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells. (Zhang Y, et al. 2009)

Sophora subprostrata also called Sophora tonkinensis or Sophora tetraptera, was first recorded in the Kaibao Bencao (973 A.D.). Subprostrata is traditionally used to alleviate heat and toxin, to disperse swellings, for painful swelling in the throat, mouth, and gums, to clear lung heat, to alleviate constipation, and to resolve masses (including carcinoma). Sophora subprostrata root extract is also sold on Sophocarpine derived from the Genus of Sophora is also a potential antiarrhythmic (preventing irregularities or abnormal rhythms of the heart) agent. (Yang ZF, et al. 2011)

Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim

Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim
Also known in English as Chinese cucumber. Trichosanthin, alkaloid isolated from the rhizome of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim, is used as TCM to drain heat and generate fluids, clear and drain lung heat, transform phlegm, moisten lung dryness, resolve toxicity and expel pus.

Trichosanthin also has abortifacient, antitumor, anti-HIV, and immunoregulatory functions. Trichosanthin may have potential therapeutic value for transplantation rejection and other inflammatory diseases. (Gong Q, et al. 2008)

Although trichosanthin might possible as a remedy for AIDS, but, these root extracts of Trichosanthes are extremely toxic, and self medication using the root extracts are not advised.

Strobilanthes cusia

Strobilanthes cusia
The leaf of Strobilanthes cusia, also known as Da Ching Yeh or Chinese Rain Bell, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This beautiful blooming shrub is also used as a garden plant. Based on pharmacological tests, indirubin, a compound derived from Strobilanthes cusia, has anticancer activity. (Li L, et al. 1993)

Strobilanthes cusia is used to treat influenza, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, encephalitis B, viral pneumonia, mumps, sore throat, aphthae, inflammatory diseases with redness of skin, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The extract of Strobilanthes cusia leaves is also possessed antinociceptive (reducing pain sensations), anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects.

Rabdosia rubescens

Rabdosia rubescens
The whole plant of Rabdosia rubescens, or also known as Dong Ling Cao, is used as herbs by TCM. Oridonin, a natural diterpenoid (hydrocarbons) purified from Rabdosia rubescens, managed to inhibit the growth of multiple myeloma (MM, U266, and RPMI8226), acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia (Jurkat), and adult T-cell leukemia (MT-1) cells. (Ikezoe T, et al. 2005)

In mouse experiments, the extract from Rabdosia rubescens suppressed breast cancer xenograft size and decreased the tumor vessel density. (Sartippour MR, et al. 2005) The aqueous extract of Rabdosia rubescens, which has antiangiogenic activity, may demonstrated clinical efficacy as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer. (Meade-Tollin LC, et al. 2004) The aqueous extract is also safe and effective for patients with chronic pharyngitis. (Ma Z, et al. 2011)

Cucumis melo Linn

Cucumis melo Linn
Also known as Muskmelon. Cucurbitacins, biochemical compounds derived from Cucumis melo, possess strong pharmacological properties, such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. Cucurbitacin B has a potential value for suppressing metastasis of human hepatoma cells. (Zhou X, et al. 2012)

Cucurbitacin B regulates immature myeloid cell differentiation and enhances antitumor immunity in patients with lung cancer. (Lu P, et al. 2012) The combination Cucurbitacin B with chemotherapeutic agents, such as, docetaxel, or gemcitabine, can augment the antitumor and antiproliferative effects, in which inhibited the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro. (Aribi A, et al. 2012)

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