Investigating the derivatives of artemisia annua l in the treatment of cancer

Maryam Etemadi,1,* Samareh gooshki,2

1. university of Zabol
2. university of Zabol



Many medicinal herbs have pharmacological activity and can be introduced as a source of new therapeutic strategies. one of the plants is used to treat cancer is artemisia annua l or qinhao, sweet wormwood or, a.annua , it is native to europe but is cultivated in central a;sia, africa. the inability of most cancers in response to, appropriate stimuli to apoptosis, is one of the main reasons of failure in treatments. evasion of apoptosis is one of the most prominent features of human cancers that causes tumor formation and development. artemisia based medications have therapeutic effects on cancer. artemisinin(ars) and artesunate are artemisia annuas active ingredients that not only used as antimalarial drug but ars-type drugs also used in cancer therapy.




Natural products have been used for thousands of years to source anticancer compounds. the heterogeneous bioactivities effects from different parts of a.annua have been observed. methanol extract from its leaves was found to be the most effective. anticancer effects of medicinal herbs, such as a.annua, on veterinary tumors can be a suitable model for determining the effect of these plants before testing its potential in the human model and using it as a drug to treat animal tumors. scopoletin, one of the most abundant cytotoxic compounds of the artemisia, has shown anticancer effect. studies have shown that indigenous iranian species of a.annua also inhibit the proliferation of cancer cell lines. artemisinin and its other derivatives have shown cytotoxic effects on hela cells and cloned murine ehrlich ascites tumor (eat) cells. the new anti-cancer derivatives of artemisinin effect on g1 phase of the cell cycle. artemisinin derivatives including cyano and aryl groups showed potent anti-proliferative effects on cells. a.annua inhibitory effect was observed in the accumulation of cells in the g1 phase due to induction of apoptosis. in an investigation on 55 cell lines, to find ic50 of artesunate, leukemia and colon cancer have shown the inhibitoriest effect. breast cancer, ovarian, prostate, and kidney cancer cells have shown middle inhibitory effect.


Natural compounds can effect blocking apoptotic pathway, in human cancer, these compounds may provide new opportunities for the development of cancer drugs. artemisin and its drivatives induce apoptosis by activating caspase although initial target(s) of artemisinin radicals are unknown. studies have identified candidate genes that may play a role in the sensitivity and resistance of tumor cells to the, medicinal plant artemisinin. ars acts in different ways against tumors. ars and its derivatives cellular response toward cancer cells included: oxidative stress response by reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide, and repair for dna damage, various cell death modes, inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor-related signal transduction pathways (e.g. wnt/β-catenin pathway, ampk pathway, metastatic pathways, and others) and signal transducers. even though artemisinin biosynthesis pathways production has been identified in some organisms, the availability of biotechnological tools to achieve artemisin massive scale (why massive scale in capitals?) remains a challenge. whethe artemisinin drived-drugs couse drug resistance or not, should be investigated. artesunate, which acts by inhibiting wnt/b-catenin pathway, has showed an anticancer effect in many cancers and causes significant apoptosis in treated cells in comparison to control cells. the accompaniment of a.annua with chemotherapy or alternative chemiothrapy should be investigated. it is important to investigate whether artemisinin derived-drugs cause drug resistance or do not. other plants that are effective in the treatment of cancer should be identified. the quality of their extracts and their appropriate dosage, composition and toxicity should be investigated. these agents should be also combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to determine the synergism effects or antagonist effect in cancer treatment. development of a new model from modern pharmacology based on traditional drugs and herbs, is needed to treat cancer.


Artemisia annua l, cancer, apoptosis, treatment