Madridge Journal of Cancer Study & Research

ISSN: 2640-5180

International Cancer Study & Therapy Conference
April 04-06, 2016, Baltimore, USA

Anti-cancer activity of South African plants and their applications

Gerda Fouche

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

DOI: 10.18689/2640-5180.a1.004

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South African plants were evaluated for their anti-cancer properties and plant samples were collected throughout South Africa. Voucher specimensweredeposited and identified at the South African National Biodiversity Institute. Plant extractswere preparedand screened for in vitro anti-cancer activity against a panel of three human cell lines (breast MCF7, renalTK10 and melanoma UACC62) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Plant extracts that exhibited anti-cancer activity against thesethree human cell lines were screened by the NCI against sixty human cancer cell lines organized intosub-panels representing leukaemia, melanoma, cancer of the lung, colon, kidney, ovary, central nervoussystem, breast and prostate. More than 7500 plant extracts were screened for in vitro anticancer activity over the last 15 years. Hits were classifiedinto four categories based on their total growth inhibition of the cell lines. A hit rate of 5.9% wasobtained for extracts which showed activity and thesewere screened by the NCI against a panelof sixty human cancer cell lines. The extracts of plant species with limited published information for theiranticancer properties were subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation and the active constituents isolated and identified. Although the extracts of the plantswere randomly selected, 68% of these plant species whichwere hits in the screening programme are reported to be used medicinally.


Prof. Gerda Fouche has been involved in natural product research for the last eighteen years as Organic Chemist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. Experience includes management and collaboration of projects with multi-disciplinary research teams at international and national research institutes, universities, government departments and private companies. The research projects are aimed at the discovery and development of drug/herbal leads from the biodiversity of South Africa. These projects involve scientific validation of medicinal plants, through interactions with owners of indigenous knowledge and purification, isolation and structure elucidation of active constituents from these plants in various therapeutic areas such as asthma, cancer, inflammation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction, oxidative stress, Alzheimer etc. She has presented at national and international conferences and workshops and has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has 6 international patents to her credit.