29 Dec '16
Russian scientists have found new ways of synthesizing substances that block cancerous cell growth, using a cheap and readily available raw material—dill and other parsley family herbs. The team was reported to have brought together researchers from a number of Russia’s leading academic universities and research think-tanks, such as Moscow’s MIPT, the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, the Koltsov Institute of Development Biology, and the Institute of Cellular Biophysics.
The results of the research have been Journal of Natural Products.
Lab synthesis of glaziovianin A, a strong and effective substance used in chemotherapy, is very complex and requires expensive precursors and chemical reaction catalysts. Earlier this year the Russian team apparently developed a method of glaziovianin A synthesis, in which precursors were derived from dill and parsley seeds. In addition to glaziovianin A itself, a number of its derivatives were synthesized to enable scientists to look for new substances showing anti-tumor efficacy.
Tumor-fighting efficacy was tested on echinus embryos and cancerous cells in humans, including lung carcinoma cells, melanoma cells, prostate cancer cells, breast cancer cells, colon cancer cells, and ovary cancer cells. In the experiments, the new substances were particularly effective against growing melanoma cells while producing no or negligible effect on healthy blood cells. Of the 12 compounds tested, glaziovianin A is said to have shown the best anti-tumor performance.