The present study was aimed to evaluate therapeutic potential of Helicteres isora
(L.) which holds the potential of an anticancer drug.
Methods: We have examined the anticancer properties of ethanolic extract of fruits of H. isora on two cancer cell lines from different origins with different p53 status namely, MCF7 and HT29. Different in vitro cell assays were conducted to evaluate the cell death caused by the ethanolic extract of the fruits.
Results: Results showed that MCF7 cells with wild type p53 were more sensitive towards the fruit extract than HT29 cells with mutated p53. On the other hand, the extract exhibited insignificant or low toxicity to normal cell lines (MCF10). The cytotoxic effect of the fruit extract was found dependent on dose, time and type of the cell lines.
Conclusion: It is concluded that the fruit extract induced selective toxicity in cancer cells but normal cells showed low sensitivity. It is suggested that differential response of tumor and normal cells was associated with their differences in cytosolic redox status acted upon by antioxidants in the extract under study. Our results have opened new vistas for understanding the mechanism of action of the fruit extract of H. isora.