Withania somnifera dunal (Ashwagandha): Potential plant source of a promising drug for cancer chemotherapy and radiosensitization

P. Uma Devi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

147 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study of antitumor and radiosensitizing properties of W. somnifera (Ashwagandha), a well known medicinal plant, have yielded encouraging results. The alcoholic extract of the dried roots of the plant as well as the active component withaferin A isolated from the extract showed significant antitumor and radiosensitizing effects in experimental tumors in vivo, without any noticeable systemic toxicity. Withaferin A gave a sensitizer enhancement ratio of 1.5 for in vitro cell killing of V79 Chinese hamster cells at a non toxic concentration of ~2 μM. The mechanism of action of this compound is not known. The studies so far indicate that W. somnifera could prove to be a good natural source of a potent and relatively safe radiosensitizer/chemotherapeutic agent. Further studies are needed to explore the clinical potential of this plant for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-932
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Volume34
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-1996
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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