A hormonal etiology of epithelial ovarian cancer has long been suspected seeing its incidence menopausal age, and now the role of FSHR has also been demonstrated. Many ovarian cancer cell line express FSHR in them. In studies of the anticancer potential of plants used in folk medicine of Bengal, extracts of plants such as Oroxylum indicum, Moringa oleifera lam, Aegles marmelos could be considered as potential sources of anticancer compounds. Amongst them only Moringa oleifera lam has unique anticancer as well as hormonal property, which may or may not be attributable to isothiocyanate or glucosinolate that it contains. An animal experiment was planned to see effect of Moringa root extract in female reproductive system of mice.


5 adult female mice of swiss strain of 30 gm each 2-control, 3-treated kept on stock diet, pellet, having nutritional value of 7 days. An aqueous extract of the root was prepared according to a traditional method. In brief, 500 g of the root were placed in a container with 750 ml of water and boiled for 30 min. The preparation was left standing to cool and was then filtered. The filtrate, containing 66.7 mg root in 1 mL, was placed in small vials and kept in 4 degree C refrigerator until use. 1 ml of extract was used orally daily for 45 days.


Attenuation/shrinkage of ovary and uterus was seen while mice tolerated the herb extract well. There was reversal to pre estrus phase of adult mice as was revealed by PAP smear from vagina. In histology there was absence of follicles in comparison to control ovary. There was lesser amount of fibrosis in treated ovary.


Isothiocyanate of Moringa may inhibit proliferation of ovarian granulosa and other cells as it induces apoptosis via caspase-9 and -3 pathways, a family of calcium-dependent cysteine proteases. It may also act by inhibiting ERK1/2 and Akt survival signaling while simultaneously activating pro-apoptotic p38 and JNK1/2. There are reports to show that Moringa induced decrease in cerebral dopamine and norepinephrine which may influence and lower NGF and FSHR through central mechanisms. There is strong possibilty of using this agent in epithelial ovarian cancer and, as such, a cell line experiment is urgently necessary.

Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2008;1(7 Suppl):A56.

Seventh AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research-- Nov 16-19, 2008; Washington, DC