Cytotoxic effects of Hypericum extracts on breast and colon tumors

Johnette S Duggans, Tennessee State University


The risk of acquiring certain types of cancers increases with age. The over 65 demographic is growing and with it the anticipation of an upward trend in cancer diagnoses. There have been advances in the primary treatment options available, which include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, the survival prognosis for many cancer patients remains low. Since most cancer patients receive a treatment regiment that incorporates chemotherapy, the development of more effective chemotherapeutic agents is necessary. Also, as the majority of chemotherapeutic drugs are plant based, more plant species should be investigated for their antitumor capabilities. Hypericum perforatum possesses hypericin, which has been shown to have antitumor effects, as its major extract constituent. In other Hypericum species, hypericin makes up a smaller percentage of the extract. However, these species contain other phytochemical compounds that may also exert an antitumor effect. The objective of the present study was to assess the cytotoxic potential of H. perforatum cv. topas, H. olympicum, and H. calycinum on breast and colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines. MCF7, SW480, and SW620 cells were treated with a high, medium, and low dosage of methonolic crude extracts from the plant species. At the lowest comparable concentrations, H. perforatum cv. topas had a greater reduction in tumor growth in MCF7 and SW40 cells lines. Whereas, H. olympicum demonstrated a greater decrease in SW620 cell growth at the lowest comparable concentration. These results suggest a difference in the phytochemical composition of these plants, which should be evaluated in order to determine what metabolite(s) are having the antitumor effect and their target.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Johnette S Duggans, "Cytotoxic effects of Hypericum extracts on breast and colon tumors" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1495529.