A study published in the Journal of Food Science shows that an extract from hibiscus leaves may treat melanoma—the least common but most fatal form of skin cancer.
Previous studies have indicated that an aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa leaves possesses hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects. In this study, the researchers aimed to investigate the anticancer activity of hibiscus leaf polyphenolic (HLP) extract in melanoma cells.
The researchers found that the HLP was rich in epicatechin gallate (ECG) and other polyphenols. Apoptotic and autophagic activities of HLP and ECG were further evaluated by DAPI stain, cell-cycle analysis, and acidic vascular organelle (AVO) stain. The finding indicates that the HLP is likely to be a useful chemotherapeutic agent to eliminate cancer cells without significant harmful effects on normal cells. However, as analyzed by trypan blue dye exclusion assay, these similarities suggested that HLP was capable of growth-inhibiting not only in A375 cells but also in other melanoma cells, B16F10, in a dose-dependent manner.
The researchers concluded that the extract of hibiscus leaf could be developed as an antimelanoma agent.