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Anti-cancer effects of <i>Vernonia amygdalina</i>: A systematic review

Julia Joseph
Vuanghao Lim
Heshu Sulaiman Rahman
Hemn Hassan Othman
Nozlena Abdul Samad


Purpose: To systematically review all the studies that have addressed the anti-cancer activities of the VA leaf extract in vitro to determine the strength of evidence of its anti-cancer effects and whether it can be used as an effective cancer therapy.
Methods: The databases of Scopus, Science Direct, PubMed, Springer, and Directory of Open Access Journals were searched for relevant articles. Only articles published in the English language from January 2000 to November 2018 were selected for full-text retrieval and review, before being included in the final review.
Results: From a total of 28 articles identified for full-text retrieval, only 17 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The papers reviewed showed that VA decreases cell viability, inhibits DNA synthesis and causes DNA damage in cancer cells. VA also induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in cancer cells via gene regulation. All in all, there is evidence showing that VA possesses time- and concentration-dependent anti-cancer activity.
Conclusion: The VA leaf extract has the potential to be developed into cancer therapeutics. However, more research is needed on its effect on normal cells before VA is developed into a cancer therapeutic.

Keywords: Vernonia amygdalina, Anti-cancer effect, DNA damage, Apoptosis

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996