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University of Western Australia (2010)

Evaluation of the anticancer potential of plants used as traditional medicines by Aboriginal people

Savigni, Donna

Titre : Evaluation of the anticancer potential of plants used as traditional medicines by Aboriginal people

Auteur : Savigni, Donna

Université de soutenance : University of Western Australia

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2010

Résumé
[Truncated abstract] Chapter 1. Aboriginal Australians maintain the oldest continuous culture on earth, and their wealth of phytochemical knowledge is largely unknown to the Western world. This study sought to tap into that knowledge, not only in the hope of finding a compound that may be of therapeutic use to cancer patients outside the indigenous communities, but also to empower the communities themselves. This introductory chapter encompasses why it is important to find new compounds to combat cancer and the various strategies employed to do so. The importance of natural products in current chemotherapies is emphasised. Advantages of the ethnopharmacological approach to screening plants for bioactive compounds are highlighted, leading into a rationale for the current project. Chapter 2. This chapter described the various materials and methods employed in the investigations. Chapter 3. The study began by justifying the choice of cell lines and optimising their culture conditions. Next, the validity of the MTT assay as a measure of cytotoxicity was demonstrated and its refinement was described. Finally, relevant controls for these bioassays were determined. Chapter 4. This chapter examined the ethnopharmacological approach to drug discovery, whereby plants potentially containing suitable drug candidates were selected based on traditional medical knowledge of two Aboriginal desert communities. These plants were screened for bioactivity against a panel of cell lines representative of the five most common types of cancer. Bioactivity was determined by demonstrating a reduction in cancer cell proliferation via the MTT assay. Using this assay, it was shown that more than half of the methanolic extracts of plants identified as having medicinal properties displayed cytotoxic or cytostatic effects against human cancer cell lines. Some of these plant extracts were more potent than others and showed selectivity for different cancer cell types...

Mots clés : Cancer—Alternative treatment — Aboriginal Australians—Ethnobotany — Aboriginal Australians—Medicine — Medicinal plants—Therapeutic use—Australia — Traditional medicine—Australia Ethnopharmacology — Pharmacognosy

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Page publiée le 9 juin 2014, mise à jour le 5 juillet 2017