Anti-cancer effect of an antimalarial drug

Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology News | Feature | 21 July 2016

Summary: Artemisinic acid shows antitumor and anti-angiogenic effects of artemisinic acid in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. These effects are due to VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGFR2 and also the activity of AKT and m-TOR

Source: Southern Medical University, Guangzhou

Artemisinin is an antimalarial drug. It is obtained from the plant Sweet wormwood. The plant is in short supply and unaffordable to most malaria sufferers. In addition, the total synthesis of artemisinin is difficult and costly. Artemisinin can be synthesized from artemisinic acid which is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, high-quality and reliable. The source of artemisinic acid is the yeast.

Artemisinin can be used in the treatment of cancer. Chinese scholars lead by Dr. Quan Shi Wang showed that artemisinic acid has also anti-cancer effect. They also explained its mechanism of antitumor effect. These results are recently published in Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology.

Photograph: Decrease in tumor size by treatment with artemisinic acid