Phytosterols are naturally occurring compounds in plants, structurally similar to cholesterol. The human diet is quite abundant in sitosterol and campesterol. Phytosterols are known to have various bioactive properties including reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption which alleviates blood LDL-cholesterol and cardiovascular problems. It is indicated that phytosterol rich diets may reduce cancer risk by 20%. Phytosterols may also affect host systems, enabling antitumor responses by improving immune response recognition of cancer, affecting the hormone dependent endocrine tumor growth, and by sterol biosynthesis modulation. Moreover, phytosterols have also exhibited properties that directly inhibit tumor growth, including reduced cell cycle progression, apoptosis induction, and tumor metastasis inhibition. The objective of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on occurrences, chemistry, pharmacokinetics and potential anticancer properties of phytosterols in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, anticancer effects of phytosterols have strongly been suggested and support their dietary inclusion to prevent and treat cancers.
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Aiton) Hassk. has a wide spectrum of pharmacological effects and has been used to treat wounds, colic diarrhoea, heartburns, abscesses and gynaecopathy. The potential antiproliferative activities of R. tomentosa extracts from different solvents were evaluated in vitro on HepG2, MCF-7 and HT 29 cell lines while antioxidant activity was monitored by radical scavenging assay (DPPH), copper reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) and β-carotene bleaching assay. Extracts from R. tomentosa show the viability of the cells in concentration-dependent manner. According to the IC50 obtained, the ethyl acetate extracts showed significant antiproliferative activity on HepG2 (IC50 11.47 ± 0.280 μg/mL), MCF-7 (IC50 2.68 ± 0.529 μg/mL) and HT 29 (IC50 16.18 ± 0.538 μg/mL) after 72 h of treatment. Bioassay guided fractionation of the ethyl acetate extract led to the isolation of lupeol. Methanol extracts show significant antioxidant activities in DPPH (EC50 110.25 ± 0.005 μg/ml), CUPRAC (EC50 53.84 ± 0.004) and β-carotene bleaching (EC50 58.62 ± 0.001) due to the presence of high total flavonoid and total phenolic content which were 110.822 ± 0.017 mg butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)/g and 190.467 ± 0.009 mg gallic acid (GAE)/g respectively. Taken together, the results extracts show the R. tomentosa as a potential source of antioxidant and antiproliferative efficacy.
Chemotherapeutic cytotoxic agents such as paclitaxel (PTX) are considered essential for the treatment of various cancers. However, PTX injection is associated with severe systemic side effects and high rates of patient noncompliance. Micelle formulations (MFs) are nano-drug delivery systems that offer a solution to these problems. Herein, we report an advantageous carrier for the transdermal delivery of PTX comprising a new MF that consists of two biocompatible surfactants: cholinium oleate ([Cho][Ole]), which is a surface-active ionic liquid (SAIL), and sorbitan monolaurate (Span-20). A solubility assessment confirmed that PTX was readily solubilized in the SAIL-based micelles via multipoint hydrogen bonding and cation-π and π-π interactions between PTX and SAIL[Cho][Ole]. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy revealed that in the presence of PTX, the MF formed spherical PTX-loaded micelles that were well-distributed in the range 8.7-25.3 nm. According to DLS, the sizes and size distributions of the micelle droplets did not change significantly over the entire storage period, attesting to their physical stability. In vitro transdermal assessments using a Franz diffusion cell revealed that the MF absorbed PTX 4 times more effectively than a Tween 80-based formulation and 6 times more effectively than an ethanol-based formulation. In vitro and in vivo skin irritation tests revealed that the new carrier had a negligible toxicity profile compared with a conventional ionic liquid-based carrier. Based on these findings, we believe that the SAIL[Cho][Ole]-based MF has potential as a biocompatible nanocarrier for the effective transdermal delivery of poorly soluble chemotherapeutics such as PTX.
Lung cancer is among the most common cancers with a high mortality rate worldwide. Despite the significant advances in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, lung cancer prognoses and survival rates remain poor due to late diagnosis, drug resistance, and adverse effects. Therefore, new intervention therapies, such as the use of natural compounds with decreased toxicities, have been considered in lung cancer therapy. Curcumin, a natural occurring polyphenol derived from turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been studied extensively in recent years for its therapeutic effects. It has been shown that curcumin demonstrates anti-cancer effects in lung cancer through various mechanisms, including inhibition of cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, induction of apoptosis, epigenetic alterations, and regulation of microRNA expression. Several invitro and invivo studies have shown that these mechanisms are modulated by multiple molecular targets such as STAT3, EGFR, FOXO3a, TGF-β, eIF2α, COX-2, Bcl-2, PI3KAkt/mTOR, ROS, Fas/FasL, Cdc42, E-cadherin, MMPs, and adiponectin. In addition, limitations, strategies to overcome curcumin bioavailability, and potential side effects as well as clinical trials were also reviewed.
In order to prevent common hypersensitivity reactions to paclitaxel injections (Taxol), we previously reported an ionic liquid-mediated paclitaxel (IL-PTX) formulation with small particle size and narrow size distribution. The preliminary work showed high PTX solubility in the IL, and the formulation demonstrated similar antitumor activity to Taxol, while inducing a smaller hypersensitivity effect in in vitro cell experiments. In this study, the stability of the IL-PTX formulation was monitored by quantitative HPLC analysis, which showed that IL-PTX was more stable at 4 °C than at room temperature. The in vivo study showed that the IL-PTX formulation could be used in a therapeutic application as a biocompatible component of a drug delivery system. To assess the in-vivo biocompatibility, IL or IL-mediated formulations were administered intravenously by maintaining physiological buffered conditions (neutral pH and isotonic salt concentration). From in vivo pharmacokinetics data, the IL-PTX formulation was found to have a similar systemic circulation time and slower elimination rate compared to cremophor EL mediated paclitaxel (CrEL-PTX). Furthermore, in vivo antitumor and hypersensitivity experiments in C57BL/6 mice revealed that IL-PTX had similar antitumor activity to CrEL-PTX, but a significantly smaller hypersensitivity effect compared with CrEL-PTX. Therefore, the IL-mediated formulation has potential to be an effective and safe drug delivery system for PTX.