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COA Mixture Cancer Case Study

In Vitro Evaluation of Cytotoxic Activities of Marketed Herbal Products in Ghana (Including COA Mixture)

Sylvester Languon, MSc1, Isaac Tuffour, MPhil 1, Emmanuel Ekow Quayson BSc1, Regina Appiah-Opong, PhD1, and Osbourne Quaye, PhD 1


For the first time, the efficacy and toxicity of some anticancer herbal products on the Ghanaian market have been evaluated. The results show that the herbal products have varied phytochemical profiles, phenolic content, antioxidant activities, and cytotoxic activities. From the IC50 values, the herbal products exerted weak toxicity against the breast, liver, prostate, and blood cancer cell lines tested. Two of the herbal products (MUT and COA) were comparatively potent against the blood cancer cell line. In Ghana, patients who patronize herbal products consume the products chronically. 

Chronic intake of the herbal products evaluated in this study could lead to the maintenance of an effective concentration of the active agents, thus immensely contributing to the anticancer activity of the herbal products in vivo. This could, however, have an effect on the toxicity of the herbal products due to the continuous availability of the product in the body.

Although the findings confirm the claims that the selected herbal products are cytotoxic to cancer cells, in vivo studies should be carried out to affirm the potency and toxicities of these herbal products. It is prudent to carry out in vivo studies since liver enzyme activity has an effect on the efficacy and toxicity of consumed herbal products/drugs.


The major limitations of the study were the inability to determine some of the plants or plant parts that were used in the preparation of the products due to issues of confidentiality, and there was no normal cell line to compare with the cancer cell lines.
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