Rural communities are already familiar with the ciplukan fruit. It is often found in the fields during the dry season. For rural communities, ciplukan regarded as a useless wild plant and an ordinary fruit. However, who would have the thought if ciplukan (Physallisa angulata L.) appeared to have cytotoxic effects and can suppress the growth of cancer cells in vitro.
According to Amelilinda Monikawati, ciplukan fruit contains Fisalin and Withanolid compound that from the various reports was supposedly containing anticancer activity. It has cytotoxic nature towards some cancer cells, able to restrain the growth of breast cancer cells MDA-MB 231, lung adenocarcinoma cell NCL-H23, leukemia cells, and comprise anthihepatoma activity of human hepatoma cells Hep G2, Hep 3B, and PLC/PRF/5. “The research conducted confirmed if ciplukan has the potential to be developed as a chemo-preventive agent," she explained, in Fortakgama Room, Tuesday (30/11).
Her research along with Inna Amandari and Sofa Farida successfully tested the chemo-preventive potential of ciplukan ethanolic herb extracts (EHC) in breast cancer cells. Thanks to this study, the three students of the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy became the winner of Natural Science (IPA) at the 9th Indonesian Young Researcher Competition Selection (PPRI) in 2010, entitled to prize money of 12 million rupiah.
All three agreed that the chemo-preventive activity of ciplukan ethanolic herb extracts could be an alternative treatment of breast cancer patients. So far, the treatment of breast cancer with chemotherapy is considered less effective. Frequent chemotherapy causes resistance and few side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, toxicity to normal tissue, toxicity on the heart suppress the immune system. "Therefore, we need a safer, more affordable, and effective alternative of cancer therapy," added Amelianda.
In vitro, this study managed to suppress cancer cell growth by 20%. To support the research of ciplukan potential as chemo-preventive agents on breast cancer, an in vivo test is also conducted. In vivo test is aimed to observe the effect of EHC on female rats Sprague Dawley strain test animals.
The in vivo test, according to Amelianda, conducted through hispatology observation of breast cells with Hematoxylin & Eosin marking method, and the anti-proliferation activities of EHC with AgNOR method in DMBA-induced rat. The results showed that EHC could restrain the process of DMBA carcinogenesis and have anti-proliferative activity by showing black dots (mAgNOR value) compared with the DMBA control group.
From the research conducted, Amelianda, Inna, and Sofa concluded that ciplukan is potential to be developed as a chemo-preventive agent of breast cancer through the induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation. In addition, ciplukan can be used as well as chemotherapy co-agent with doxorubicin. "Therefore, test of selectivity and expression in a variety of proteins involved in triggers of apoptosis and cell cycle regulation is necessary to know the security and molecular mechanisms in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer," said Amelianda.