Background: Cancer is a term for a large group of different diseases, all involving uncontrolled cell growth. Many of Euphorbiaceae plants have been traditionally used for the treatment of ulcers, tumors, warts, and other diseases. In addition, in the last decade, there are studies showing cytotoxic effects of different species of Euphorbia on tumor cell lines. In this study, we attempted to determine if Euphorbia turcomanica possess any cytotoxic activity. Materials and Methods: Solvents extracted the plant powder with various polarities by a maceration method, and qualitative phytochemical analyzes were carried out on them to identify the constituents. On the other hand, the possible cytotoxicity of different extracts on Hela and HT-29 tumor cells was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and 50% reduction in cell survival was considered as a cytotoxic effect. Analyze of variance followed by Student-Newman-Keuls test was used to see the differences among the groups. Results: Phytochemical analysis of E. turcomanica showed the presence of flavonoid, alkaloid, anthraquinone and tannin in plant aerial parts. Methanol-water, acetone, dichloromethane, methanol, and heptane extracts of E. turcomanica significantly reduced viability of Hela cells (P < 0.05) with inhibitory concentration 50% (IC50) of 50, 90, 230, 420, and 450 μg/ml, respectively. While methanol-water, dichloromethane, methanol, ethyl acetate, and heptane extracts were cytotoxic with IC50of 43, 115, 125, 250, and 390 μg/ml, respectively (P < 0.05), on HT-29 cells. Conclusion: It can be concluded that E. turcomanica is a good candidate for further study toward cytotoxic agents.
What is Cancer? National Cancer Institute. Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/what-is-cancer. [Last cited on 2009 Aug 17].