Significance of Rumex vesicarius as anticancer remedy against hepatocellular carcinoma: a proposal-based on experimental animal studies

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16(10):4303-10. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2015.16.10.4303.


Rumex vesicarius is an edible herb distributed in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The whole plant has significant value in folk medicine and it has been used to alleviate several diseases. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the major primary malignant tumor of the liver, is one of the most life-threatening human cancers. The goal of the current study was to explore the potent role of Rumex vesicarius extract against HCC induced in rats. Thirty adult male albino rats were divided into 3 groups: (I): Healthy animals received orally 0.9% normal saline and served as negative control group, (II): HCC group in which rats were orally administered N-nitrosodiethylamine NDEA, (III): HCC group treated orally with R. vesicarius extract in a dose of 400 mg/kg b.wt daily for two months. ALT and AST, ALP and γ-GT activities were estimated. CEA, AFP, AFU, GPC-3, Gp-73 and VEGF levels were quantified. Histopathological examination of liver tissue sections was also carried out. The results of the current study showed that the treatment of the HCC group with R. vesicarius extract reversed the significant increase in liver enzymes activity, CEA, AFP, AFU, glypican 3, golgi 73 and VEGF levels in serum as compared to HCC-untreated counterparts. In addition, the favorable impact of R. vesicarius treatment was evidenced by the marked improvement in the histopathological features of the liver of the treated group. In conclusion, the present experimental setting provided evidence for the significance of R. vesicarius as anticancer candidate with a promising anticancer potential against HCC. The powerful hepatoprotective properties, the potent antiangiogenic activity and the effective antiproliferative capacity are responsible for the anticancer effect of this plant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Glycoproteins / blood
  • Glypicans / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rumex*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / metabolism
  • alpha-L-Fucosidase / blood
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Glycoproteins
  • Glypicans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A, rat
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • alpha-L-Fucosidase