A Spanish study reveals that marigold (Calendula Officinalis) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) can naturally stop the development of cancerous cells. The researchers of the study focused on the anti-cancer properties of these plants. They have found that the extracts from the marigold and yarrow plant can help in treating pancreatic cancer.
Both of these plants belong with the Asteraceae family. They hinder the molecular pathways involved in the growth and propagation of the tumor cells. They work wonders against tumors without damaging the healthy cells. The researchers tested the effectiveness of the extracts, as potential adjuvants, for treating pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is declared the fifth deadliest cancer across the world. It reportedly causes 70,000 deaths every year. Doctors treat the early stages of the disease by surgery and chemotherapy, employing drugs like 5-fluorouracil and nab-paclitaxel. However, with the progression of the tumor, the chemotherapeutic drugs become less effective. This calls for an immediate need for the researchers to look for alternative means.
A research team, from the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies on Food (IMDEA-Food), conducted this research. They extracted compounds from the marigold and yarrow plant using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE). The remaining vegetative material was processed through the ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) method, for further extraction. This two-step extraction method gets the most out of the ingredients.
This study is the first to look at extracts produced through environment-friendly means. The SFE and UAE steps are considered “green” because they trim down the waste products and do not use synthetic chemicals.
The results of the study reveal that SFE extracts of marigold and yarrow potentially reduces the likelihood of pancreatic cancer cells. Higher doses offer better inhibitory effect.
Along with marigold and yarrow, the researchers also tested the SFE extracts of lemon balm and marjoram. Both of these plants belong to the family “Lamiaceae.” However, their extract didn’t work against the cancer cells. They demonstrated zero anti-cancer activity.
Talking about the UAE-derived extracts, the yarrow extract showed effective results. However, the ethanol-based UAE extracts were not efficient enough.
In addition, the researchers tested the marigold and yarrow extracts on cultured PANC-1 cells. PANC-1 is the pancreatic cancer cell line that is reasonably resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs.
The researchers found that of the two SFE-derived extracts, the marigold extract was able to stall the growth of these cancer cells and destroy the tumor. However, the yarrow extract wasn’t effective enough on the drug-resistant cancer cells.
On the other hand, the UAE-derived yarrow extract exhibited the anti-cancer property against the drug-resistant line.
The researchers of the study revealed that the SFE-derived marigold and yarrow extracts achieved their tumor inhibitory effects through similar yet different means.
Both of the extracts used Caspar 3/7 cleavage to trigger the death of the cancer cells. However, their signaling pathways to activate the process were different.
Marigold encourages the number of necrotic cells, stopping the transformation of healthy cells into cancerous tumors. On the other hand, Yarrow extract alleviates the rate of transformation, halting the formation of a 3D colony. Marigold, meanwhile, disintegrates the colony, preventing the tumor from further building up.
The findings of the study conclude that marigold and yarrow extracts offer an efficient, harmless, reliable, and eco-friendly support to treat pancreatic cancer.