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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 452892, 11 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of the Cytotoxic Effects of CAM Therapies: An In Vitro Study in Normal Kidney Cell Lines

Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat Solan 173234, India

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013; Published 3 February 2014

Academic Editors: D. Geetha, F. Thaiss, and Y. Uchiyama-Tanaka

Copyright © 2014 Shagun Arora 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.


The purpose of this current study was to justify the incorporation of complementary and alternate medicine (CAM) in current cancer treatments. The major drawback of anticancer drugs is their nonselective killing, which ultimately leads to attrition of normal cells. Keeping this as the foundation of our study, we made an effort to compare the cytotoxicity associated with a known chemotherapeutic drug 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), with certain CAM therapies previously reported to have anticancer activity. The parameters chosen for the study were based on antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects on normal, kidney epithelial cells (NRK-52E). The MTT assay, colony formation assay, DNA fragmentation, and differential staining using AO/EB, following treatment with either 5-FU or CAM therapies, were performed. The CAM therapies under study were various extracts of wheatgrass, roots of Achyranthes aspera (AA), mushroom extracts (Pleurotus ostreatus, Macrolepiota procera, and Auricularia polytricha), and a homeopathic drug, Ruta graveolens (Ruta). The results showed that treatment of normal cells with the CAM therapies led to minimum cell damage in comparison to 5-FU. This evidence-based study will lead to greater acceptance of alternative therapies against cancer.