North African Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Cancer Therapy
Glaucium flavum (G. flavum) is a plant from the Papaveraceae family native to Algeria where it is used in local traditional medicine to treat warts. G. flavum root crude alkaloid extract inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation and induced G2/M phase cycle arrest and apoptosis without affecting normal cells, which is a highly awaited feature of potential anti-cancer agents. G. flavum significantly reduced growth and vascularization of human glioma tumors on chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) in vivo. The chromatographic profile of the dichloromethane extract of G. flavum root showed the presence of different constituents including the isoquinoline alkaloid protopine, as the major compound. We report for the first time that G. flavum extract may represent a new promising agent for cancer chemotherapy.