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Neem Leaves- The New and Cheapest Ally against Breast Cancer

Our ancestors were right in holding the Neem tree (Azadirachta Indica) in the highest regards. Recent research conducted by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad, has brought to light that the leaves and flowers of the Neem tree are effective against the treatment of breast cancer.

Godugu Chandraiah is the lead scientist conducting this research. According to the researchers, the chemical compound from Neem leaves called Nimbolide can effectively inhibit the growth of breast cancer. Financial assistance for the research is being asked from AYUSH and the departments of biotechnology. However, preliminary clinical investigations have not yet been conducted. Studies are being conducted to implement advanced scientific methods for the preparation of effective drugs.

Due to the abundance of the Neem tree in India, this might well become the cheapest anti-cancer drug. Additionally, Neem looks to be a promising agent of chemo-prevention, according to Godugu from the research programme. “We recently proved anti-cancer efficacy of Nimbolide in breast cancer by novel molecular pathways. It induces cell death and inhibits proliferation of cancer cells,” he stated to PTI, “We found that Nimbolide significantly inhibited the growth of breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer cells…” Godugu further said, “Its anti-cancer activity has been widely explored, which is largely due to its active constituent Nimbolide. It is a novel compound with promising pre-clinical efficacy against multiple types of cancer.”

The pharmacokinetics of this novel molecule is largely unexplored despite its huge potential. As such, there has been a barrier to proper clinical translation. To solve this problem, a team has been formed comprising of experts in the field of pharmacology and pharmaceutical analysis. It includes Shandilya Baira, Jaganmohan Somagoni, R Srinivas, Amit Khurana, Godugu, M V N Kumar Talluri.

The severe side effects due to chemotherapeutic drugs might be reduced by Nimbolide. Moreover, it might also prove beneficial against a relapsed tumor. In the next four years or five, entry of formulation having clinical translation value to the Phase-I clinical trials are to be expected.

About the author

Siddharth Deb