Brain gliomas are malignant tumors causing very poor life expectancy after diagnosis and treatment. These are difficult to control because of active angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels). New blood vessels allow tumors to survive and grow from benign to malignant, and gliomas are considered incurable because of excessive angiogenesis.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a chemical produced by cells to promote the growth of new blood vessels. Because it is so active in gliomas, it is a logical target for blocking angiogenesis. Avastin is an antibody drug that has been developed to treat gliomas with limited success. Unfortunately, it is expensive, has serious side effects, and extends life only a few months.
Asiatic acid (AsA) is an extract from a plant Centella asiatica. AsA is known to work against gliomas and other cancers, but has never been tested against angiogenesis in gliomas. The authors studied AsA extensively against angiogenesis in two different cell lines.
Results show that AsA blocks cell migration, invasion and capillary formation, and actually disintegrates capillaries which were already formed. AsA inhibits VEGF as well as creates apoptosis (natural cell death) in living glioma cells.
CONCLUSION: Studies show that AsA blocks angiogenesis and suggests it would be useful in the therapy of malignant gliomas.
NOTE: AsA is found in the herb gotu kola (Centella asiatica).
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Asiatic Acid is found in the herb, gotu kola (Centella asiatica.)