Role of Camptotheca Plant in the Treatment of Cancer

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喜樹科 Camptotheca acuminata Decne. 喜樹 97霧峰 省資議會

Camptotheca acuminata

Biological Source of Camptotheca:

Camptotheca consists of the dried stem wood of the plant Camptotheca acuminata of the plant Nyssaceae. It is also known as cancer tree. It is grown in China and Tibet. This plant has been screened for anti-tumor properties by the National Institute of Health, U.S.A. and they identified camptothecin.

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Camptothecin is a deciduous tree and it contains alkaloids. The alkaloidal content can be increased by shading of whole seedlings and by planting in drought conditions. They contain dark green leaves and red coloured flowers. They are bitter in taste.

Chemical constituents present in Camptotheca:

Camptotheca plant contains quinoline alkaloid camptothecin. It also contains other constituents like 10-hydroxy camptothecin and 10-methoxy camptothecin.

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Uses of Camptotheca:

  • It is a prototype DNA topoisomerase-I inhibitor.
  • It has broad spectrum antitumour activity.
  • It has sodium salts which shows antileukemic activities.
  • It treats gastrointestinal cancer in low doses and is highly toxic in high concentration.
  • It inhibits the replication of DNA viruses such as herpes virus, adeno virus, vaccinia virus. It has no effect on RNA viruses like poliovirus.
  • They are used clinically in the treatment of leukemia and liver cancer.
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