A new source of drug for breast cancer!

Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology News | Feature | 1 July 2016

Summary: Three compounds were isolated from the extract of Sphagnum palustre which show inhibition of aromatase activity. These can be used in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Source: Sungkyunkwan University

Aromatase (estrogen synthatase) is an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of estrogen. This enzyme is present in many tissues including breast cancer. Breast cancer requires estrogen to grow. Aromatase inhibitors (exemestane, anastrozole and letrozole) are considered to be the first-line therapy for breast cancer with/without metastasis. Compared to synthetic aromatase inhibitors, nature-deriving compounds exhibit higher tissue-specific inhibition as well as reduced toxicity. Some mushrooms have aromatase enzyme inhibiting activities.

The Korean researcher Dr. Ki Hyun Kim and his team recently showed the aromatase enzyme inhibitory activity of the moss Sphagnum palustre. They have also identified three compounds which produce this activity.Compounds 6 and 7 have almost similar chemical structure. This finding is recently published in Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology.

Photograph: Compounds isolated from Sphagnum palustre show aromatase enzyme inhibitory activity