The Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Experimental Pharmacology creates phytomedications for the effectiveness of chemotherapy


Scientists in the Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Experimental Pharmacology of the Siberian Botanical Garden of Tomsk State University are working to develop highly efficient products of plant origin for the treatment of socially significant diseases. Preclinical studies demonstrated that the biologically active agents of plants of the Caryophyllaceae family can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy for tumors and also reduce its toxicity.

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs and often causes adverse effects. Increasing the success of cancer therapy can be achieved by including in the treatment herbal medicines, which, unlike the synthetics, are easily digested and not toxic.

"For more than 30 years our laboratory has been one of the few in the world that explores plants containing hormones of molting and metamorphosis of insects, ecdysteroids. These materials are very promising for pharmacology, substances of different biological activity based on them were created abroad. We are looking for new and available plant sources of these and other biologically active substances (flavonoids), and study their composition", - says Larisa Zibareva, head of the Laboratory.

Studies have shown that the inclusion of biologically active substances of the Caryophyllaceae family in the scheme of chemotherapy increases the efficiency of anti-tumor drugs. Furthermore, it was proven that these compounds are able to exert an anti-ulcer, hemorheological, and stress-protection action that potentially also can be used for the treatment of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and neurological disorders.

Elena Filonenko, master’s student of the Laboratory, tested the influence of extracts of a number of plants on human immune system cells, in cooperation with University of Heidelberg (Germany, Professor Julia Kzhyshkovska). It was found that certain extracts of Caryophyllaceae have pro-inflammatory properties that mean that they are able to mobilize the immune system, which suggests the existence the antitumor activity.

This year, researchers plan to continue the study of the antitumor action of biologically active substances of promising species, and in particular, to view their impact at the genetic level.

The Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Experimental Pharmacology of the Siberian Botanical Garden is a part of the TSU Centre for High Technologies in Medicine. Scientists of the Laboratory have recommended, for the first time in the world, the use of more than 100 new plant sources promising for pharmacology, and identified a number of new compounds.