Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and mortal cancers. Although several drugs have been proposed for its treatment, it remains resistant and new alternatives are needed. In this context, plants and their derivatives constitute a relevant source of bioactive components which might efficiently inhibit tumor cell progression.
Methods: In this study, we have analyzed the potential anti-carcinogenic effect of different Asteraceae (Achillea millefolium and Calendula officinalis) and Lamiaceae (Melissa officinalis and Origanum majorana) plant extracts obtained by different green technologies (Supercritical CO2 Extraction -SFE- and Ultrasonic Assisted Extraction -UAE-) to identify efficient plant extracts against human pancreatic cancer cells that could constitute the basis of novel treatment approaches.
Results: Asteraceae extracts showed better results as antitumoral agents than Lamiaceae by inducing cytotoxicity and inhibiting cell transformation, and SFE extracts were most efficient than UAE extracts. In addition, SFE derived plant extracts from Achillea millefolium and Calendula officinalis displayed synergism with the chemotherapeutic 5-Fluororacil.
Conclusion: These results show how Yarrow and Marigold SFE-derived extracts can inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth, and could be proposed for a comprehensive study to determine the molecular mechanisms involved in their bioactivity with the final aim to propose them as potential adjuvants in pancreatic cancer therapy.
Keywords: 5-Fluororacil; Asteraceae; Chemotherapeutic agents; Lamiaceae; Pancreatic cancer.