Artemisia revisited- 
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 Artemisia revisited-

: Int J Oncol 2001 Apr;18(4):767-73 Related Articles, Books  

The anti-malarial artesunate is also active against cancer.

Efferth T, Dunstan H, Sauerbrey A, Miyachi H, Chitambar CR.

Virtual Campus Rhineland-Palatinate, P.O. Box 4380, D-55033 Mainz,

Artesunate (ART) is a semi-synthetic derivative of artemisinin, the
active principle of the Chinese herb Artemisia annua. ART reveals
remarkable activity against otherwise multidrug-resistant Plasmodium
falciparum and P. vivax malaria. ART has now been analyzed for its
anti-cancer activity against 55 cell lines of the Developmental
Therapeutics Program of the National Cancer Institute, USA. ART was
most active against leukemia and colon cancer cell lines (mean GI50
values: 1.11+/-0.56 microM and 2.13+/-0.74 microM , respectively).
Non-small cell lung cancer cell lines showed the highest mean GI50
value (25.62+/-14.95 microM) indicating the lowest sensitivity towards
ART in this test panel. Intermediate GI50 values were obtained for
melanomas, {*filter*}, ovarian, prostate, CNS, and renal cancer cell
lines. Importantly, a comparison of ART's cytotoxicity with those of
other standard cytostatic {*filter*} showed that ART was active in molar
ranges comparable to those of established anti-tumor {*filter*}.
Furthermore, we tested CEM leukemia sub-lines resistant to either
doxorubicin, vincristine, methotrexate, or hydroxyurea which do not
belong to the N.C.I. screening panel. None of these drug-resistant
cell lines showed cross resistance to ART. To gain insight into the
molecular mechanisms of ART's cytotoxicity, we used a panel of
isogenic Saccaromyces cerevisiae strains with defined genetic
mutations in DNA repair, DNA checkpoint and cell proliferation genes.
A yeast strain with a defective mitosis regulating BUB3 gene showed
increased ART sensitivity and another strain with a defective
proliferation-regulating CLN2 gene showed increased ART resistance
over the wild-type strain, wt644. None of the other DNA repair or DNA
check-point deficient isogenic strains were different from the
wild-type. These results and the known low toxicity of ART are clues
that ART may be a promising novel candidate for cancer chemotherapy.

Sat, 15 Nov 2003 05:23:11 GMT
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