The cytotoxic effect of higher plant extracts on recurrent ovarian cancer cells

  • Ellyss Conroy

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Objective: Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer for females in the UK, the lack of effective screening leads to late diagnosis at an advanced stage. Platinum-based chemotherapy has proven to be an effective treatment but some cases have become recurrent due to drug resistance. Higher plant extracts are known to have anticancer effects. The aim of this investigation is to test higher plant extracts against platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells to show if they have a toxic effect and if they could be used as a possible treatment. Methods: A cytotoxicity assay using twenty-nine higher plant extracts was carried out against two ovarian cancer cell lines (A2780 and A2780cis). The most toxic plant extracts where then used in a dose-response assay to show the potency of the natural products and to calculate the IC50. BIOLOG phenotypic microarray plates were then used to investigate the metabolism of the ovarian cancer cells. Results: Extracts 7, 8 and 15 were seen to be toxic towards both cancer cell lines but have little effect on HS27 cells. There were differences in the metabolism between the A2780 and A2780cis cells, this is seen to change further after the addition of plant extracts 7, 15 and the chemotherapy drug - doxorubicin. Conclusions: The results show that higher plant extracts are a good source of anticancer drugs as certain extracts were very toxic towards both cell lines and had very little effect on normal human cells. The differences in metabolism for the A2780 and A2780cis could highlight the mechanism of cisplatin resistance. They could also outline the mechanism of action for the extracts that could be used to treat recurrent ovarian tumours.
Date of Award16 Jan 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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