Antitumor activity of artemisinin and its derivatives. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antitumor activity of artemisinin and its derivatives: from a well-known antimalarial agent to a potential anticancer drug.
J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012 ;2012:247597. Epub 2011 Nov 22. PMID: 22174561
Maria P Crespo-Ortiz
Improvement of quality of life and survival of cancer patients will be greatly enhanced by the development of highly effective drugs to selectively kill malignant cells. Artemisinin and its analogs are naturally occurring antimalarials which have shown potent anticancer activity. In primary cancer cultures and cell lines, their antitumor actions were by inhibiting cancer proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis. In xenograft models, exposure to artemisinins substantially reduces tumor volume and progression. However, the rationale for the use of artemisinins in anticancer therapy must be addressed by a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in their cytotoxic effects. The primary targets for artemisinin and the chemical base for its preferential effects on heterologous tumor cells need yet to be elucidated. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the recent advances and new development of this class of drugs as potential anticancer agents.