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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 815390, 9 pages
Review Article

Andrographolide: A New Plant-Derived Antineoplastic Entity on Horizon

B. V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development (PERD) Centre, Sarkhej—Gandhinagar Highway, Thaltej, Ahmedabad 380054, Gujarat, India

Received 5 January 2009; Accepted 5 August 2009

Copyright © 2011 Astha Varma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Plant-derived natural products occupy an important position in the area of cancer chemotherapy. Molecules such as vincristine, vinblastine, paclitaxel, camptothecin derivatives, epipodophyllotoxin, and so forth, are invaluable contributions of nature to modern medicine. However, the quest to find out novel therapeutic compounds for cancer treatment and management is a never-ending venture; and diverse plant species are persistently being studied for identification of prospective anticancer agents. In this regard, Andrographis paniculata Nees, a well-known plant of Indian and Chinese traditional system of medicines, has drawn attention of researchers in recent times. Andrographolide, the principal bioactive chemical constituent of the plant has shown credible anticancer potential in various investigations around the globe. In vitro studies demonstrate the capability of the compound of inducing cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells at different concentrations. Andrographolide also shows potent immunomodulatory and anti-angiogenic activities in tumorous tissues. Synthetic analogues of the compound have also been created and analyzed, which have also shown similar activities. Although it is too early to predict its future in cancer chemotherapy, the prologue strongly recommends further research on this molecule to assess its potential as a prospective anticancer agent.