Role of Fagonia Cretica in Breast Cancer

In this study we report mechanisms of Fagonia cretica aqueous extract-induced cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells. Local medical practitioners use Fagonia cretica for treating a wide variety of ailments, including cancer. This substance is well tolerated and does not exhibit adverse effects like vomiting, diarrhea or alopecia, which are common side effects of standard cytotoxic therapy. To the authors' best knowledge, this study is the first time that cytotoxic activity towards human breast cancer cell lines has been described. Herein, we have shown that an aqueous extract of Fagonia cretica is able to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in wild type p53 MCF-7 and mutant p53 MDA-MB-231 cells, while only exerting a limited effect on primary HMEpC at high concentrations and extended treatment time. We have also demonstrated that cell cycle arrest may be associated with induction of DNA damage and in MCF-7 cells, via activation of the ATM/p53-mediated DNA damage response. Interestingly, the requirement of p53 activation is not essential for cytotoxicity, as we have shown with siRNA p53 knockdown in extract-treated MCF-7 cells, and the significant treatment effects on mutant-p53 MDA-MB-231 cells. In contrast, extract-induced cytotoxicity is shown to be dependent on induction of FOXO3a expression, in both cell types.

In Western medicine, the focus is the eradication of the cancers cells once they have been diagnosed. Ayurveda is not a replacement for Western medicine. Once cancer has been diagnosed, all avenues of treatment, including conservative (allopathic) and complimentary approaches should be thoroughly investigated. Ayurveda will address prevention and underlying causative factors, while Western medicine will deal with the symptoms, which in some cases can be life-threatening. Through this Mail, we will discuss the cause, treatment, and prevention of Breast cancer exclusively from the Ayurvedic perspective.

"Researchers have discovered the extracts found in Fagonia cretica have not only halted the spread of Breast Cancer Cells but also caused a limiting action on them thereby enabling the healing of Breast Cancer among the Folk women of asian countries".

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In Ayurveda, cancers are not treated solely as a physical condition. The relationship between mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual factors are all identified when treating cancer. The general definition of cancer in Ayurveda is when the cells have forgotten their memory of normal and proper function. They have lost the smirti value (cellular memory). Without the memory of proper function the cells have no rules.

An extract of Fagonia cretica induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in two phenotypically distinct breast cancer cell lines. Extract activity involves DNA damage and p53-induction but is not fully dependent on p53 functionality. In addition, extract treatment induces FOXO3a expression which may be attributed to DNA damage directly or induction of DNA repair pathways. We also demonstrated that FOXO3a expression is required for extract activity in the absence of functional p53. This provides a novel mechanism by which an aqueous extract of Fagonia cretica, used extensively in India and Pakistan, can kill breast cancer cells.