Background. Cancer is one of the most important public health burdens in developed and developing countries. Colon cancer (CC) is the sixth most common cause of death in India and third most important cause in developed countries. For treating cancer, several synthetic agents are available but they cause side effects. Therefore, there is a need to investigate plant derived anticancer agents with lesser side effects. In this direction, we have made an attempt to unravel the potential of pumpkin seed extract for treating colon cancer. Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate pumpkin seed extract as prophylactic and treatment for 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) induced colon cancer in Wistar rats. Materials and Methods. Male Wistar rats were divided into seven groups, namely, control, DMH (disease control), 5-Flurouracil (standard), treatment groups (100mg/kg and 200 mg/kg), and pretreatment groups (100mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) with pumpkin seed extract. The animals were euthanised at the end of study and colons were examined. Results. A significant difference in the aberrant crypt foci (ACF) number in all treatment groups compared to control and DMH groups were noted. Pretreatment group at a dose of 200 mg/kg showed a significant decrease in the colon length/weight ratio. Pretreatment groups showed a significant change in the colonic glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels when compared to control and DMH control. The nitrite content was decreased in treatment group 200 mg/kg at 5.203±0.852 when compared to DMH control at 8.506±3.866. All treatment groups demonstrated decreased hyperplasia and ACF in histology. Conclusion. Pumpkin seed may prevent the risk of CC when consumed in dietary proportions.
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