Highlighting the Antitumor And Therapeutic Activity of Withania Somnifera in Cancer – Shubham Saini


New Delhi (India), June 19: Shubham Saini currently serving in SCPM college of Nursing & Paramadical studies. He has completed his MSc in Medical Biochemistry from Era University Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He has done his hands-on experience of several domain of biosciences, be it tissue culture, histopathology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, cytopathology, blood bank and etc. He has vision for doing something well esteemed in field of biosciences. He is all in to nurturing the several aspects of his studies for the society and it’s Welfare be it with research or work anything.

Cancer, being a cause of death for major fraction of population worldwide, is one of the most studied diseases and is being investigated for the development of new technologies and more accurate therapies. Still the currently available therapies for cancer have many lacunae which affect the patient’s health severely in the form of side effects. The natural drugs obtained from the medicinal plants provide a better alternative to fight against this devastating disease. Withania somnifera L. Dunal (Solanaceae), a well-known Ayurvedic medicinal plant, has been traditionally used to cure various ailments for centuries. Phytotherapy is the most common medication in traditional as well as complementary medicine worldwide. It is employed for approximately 60% of the world population and has a very important role in the public health system of many countries; as a result of screening, many plants have led to the development of many drugs, which are now widely used in therapy.

Considering the need for the introduction of new drugs into the market, the plants have an added advantage when compared with synthetic ones, as their molecular diversity and consequent changes in biological function are more complex.

With respect to research and development of newer potential herbal drugs, screening and evaluation of their phyto-pharmacological effect are essential The biodiversity and plant assets are often the basis for the development of synthetic drugs, which show a combination of chemical structures and yet unexplored physicochemical properties.  Withania somnifera is a plant typically originated from the dry regions of Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan as well as South Africa, and others. .

Different therapies are used alone or in combination for the treatment of a wide variety of tumors. The most desirable pharmacological characteristics of an efficient tumor agents are their selectivity and the ability to interfere with tumor replication process, return to homeostasis of normal cells with a minimum of adverse effects. Despite intensive efforts and development of various chemotherapeutic agents in the clinic, the efficacy of various therapies is still restricted by the heterogeneity of cancer cells and complex tumor interactions, resulting in clonal selection of a drug-resistant cell population.

In this respect, natural medicinal compounds gained interest as chemotherapeutic agents to prevent or overcome resistance to therapy, because of their potential to target multiple cancer hallmarks, which includes cell proliferation and death resistance, replicative immortality, invasion and metastasis, angiogenesis, and tumor-promoting inflammation. W. somnifera as a regulator of phase G2/M cell cycle of tumor cells and its activity against prostate tumors. The antitumor effects of this plant against different types of cancer cells appear to be related to an increased sensitivity of tumor cells to traditional agents and reducing adverse effects associated with them. The antitumor effect of W. somnifera may be related to the ability to repair oxidative effects caused by the tumor cells and reduce inflammation. Another important advantage associated is its ability to potentiate but does not influence the therapeutic effects of traditional antineoplastic agents. Various parts of W. somnifera especially the roots with its unique contents have been proved effective against different kinds of cancers.

The most active components withanolides and withaferins along with a few other metabolites including withanone (WN) and withanosides have been reported effective against different types of cancer cell lines.