[Experimental studies of antitumor effect of artesunate on liver cancer]

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2001 Oct;26(10):707-8, 720.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To observe the inhibiting effect of Artesunate on liver cancer in vitro and in vivo.

Method: The mice bearing H22 solid and ascitic liver tumor were applied in vivo experiments. Microculture tetrazolium assay and colony-forming unit assay were applied to test the cytotoxicity to human hepatocarcinoma SMMC-7721 cell line in vitro.

Result: The growth of solid tumor were obviously inhibited by Artesunate at the dose of 300 mg.kg-1.d-1 ig for 7 days. The tumor inhibiting rates of Artesunate were 49.1%, 48.7%, 46.6% in 3 experiments respectively. After administration of Artesunate, the survival rate of the mice bearing H22 ascitic liver tumor were increased to 45%. Compared with the control groups, the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.01). In additional, Artesunate can synergize the antitumor activity of 5-fluorouracil. Artesunate showed evident cytotoxicity to human hepatocarcinoma SMMC-7721 cells, the IC50 of Artesunate being 2.07 micrograms.ml-1 in MTT experiment and 2.48 micrograms.ml-1 in colony-forming unit experiment.

Conclusion: Artesunate has marked antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Artemisia annua / chemistry
  • Artemisinins / pharmacology
  • Artemisinins / therapeutic use*
  • Artesunate
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phytotherapy
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Artemisinins
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Artesunate