VOL. 3, No. 1, January 2006

G. R. Lakho and D. K. Rohra [2006] Med Hypotheses Res 3:643-650.

Targeting Apoptosis with Compounds from
Commonly-Used Medicinal Plants: A Possible Aid in
the Fight Against Cancer?

Ghulam Rehmani Lakho and Dileep Kumar Rohra*

Abstract. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview of experimental
in vitro and in vivo investigations focusing on the anticancer activity of few herbs
specially phytochemicals from daily kitchen ingredients. Potential use of these natural
agents in cancer therapy and chemoprevention is also discussed. Studies using animal
models and cultured human malignant cell lines have demonstrated antitumor and cancer
preventive activities of many herbs and their main ingredients. Possible mechanisms of
few of these (e.g., thymoquinone from nigella sativa, curcumin from turmeric, and
organosulfur compounds from garlic) along with their biological activities are discussed

*Address all correspondence to: Dr. Dileep Kumar Rohra, Department of
Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, P.O. Box
3500, Karachi 74800, Pakistan. Phone: 92-21-4864563. Fax: 92-21-92-21-4934294.

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