Researchers from the Pune-based National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) have successfully isolated cancer stem cells that cause skin cancer.
They have successfully demonstrated that Andrographolide (a compound) isolated and purified from Andrographis paniculata (a herb) found in India is effective in inhibiting tumour growth both in skin cancer and lung metastasis in mice.
How did they undertake research?
- In order to establish that CD133 positive cancer stem cells cause cancer, the researchers had injected these cells subcutaneously into mice.
- The CD133 positive cancer stem cells that develops tumour faster than non-cancer stem cells.
- It also produces lung metastasis in a different set of mice that received the cells through intravenous injection.
- The research showed that all the animals injected with CD133 positive cancer stem cells developed skin cancer (melanoma).
- When the compound Andrographolide was injected in the mice, it inhibiting tumour growth both in skin cancer and lung metastasis.
Significance of Research
- The study indicates that the compound Andrographolide has therapeutic potential for the management of cancer stem-cell mediated melanoma growth and lung metastasis.
- The compound has ability to inhibit CD133 positive cancer stem cells growth which mediates tumour growth and lung metastasis.
- It also shows enhanced ability to flush out cancer drugs from inside the cells thereby increasing the probability of tumour relapse.