Moringa nanoparticles as an anti-cancer drug

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Prof. Dr. Theresia Indah Budhy Sulisetyawati, drg., M.Kes. resmi dikukuhkan sebagai guru besar bidang Patologi Mulut dan Maksilofasial Univeristas Airlangga (UNAIR) pada Kamis (8/4/2021). (Foto: Agus Irwanto)

UNAIR NEWS – Prof. Dr. Theresia Indah Budhy Sulisetyawati, drg., M.Kes. was officially inaugurated as a Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Universitas Airlangga. She is 32nd active professor of FKG UNAIR, Prof. There together with four other professors were inaugurated at Garuda Mukti Hall, Campus C UNAIR on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

The highest award for an academic was achieved through her breakthrough discovery of the great potential of Moringa oleifera or Moringa leaves as an anti-cancer drug. The results of the research were described in her oration entitled ‘Development of Oral Cancer Therapy with Moringa Oleifera Nanoparticles.

Prof. There focused on cancer therapy because cancer problem in Indonesia is increasing from time to time. Moreover, it is followed by the fact that Indonesia is the country with the most cancer cases in Southeast Asia, after Vietnam.

“The cancer death rate in Indonesia is 2 percent. And the prevalence of oral cancer increased from 1.4 percent in 2013 to 1.8 percent in 2018. The incidence of cancer in Indonesia has reached 135,000 people per year. It is a problem that we cannot rule out,” explained 225th Professor of Universitas Airlangga as PTN-BH (Legal Entity State University).

Following these facts, Prof. There is trying to find safer, more natural, and easy to obtain anti-cancer drugs, especially in Indonesia. The potential for anti-cancer drugs falls to moringa plants which contain various active substances such as anti-neoproliferative agent phytochemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Then why are the moringa leaf nanoparticles become the main focus of research?

Prof. There explains that nanoparticles become biological or synthetic materials that can be used as drug-carrying materials which are smaller in size than microspheres and liposomes. “Nanoparticles are able to penetrate the spaces between cells that can only be penetrated by colloidal size, high stability, protected from degradation, excellent tolerability, low toxicity to the liver, and a series of other advantages”.

“These advantages will be able to bind adequate amounts of drug molecules with a very high absorption efficiency,” added the woman who was born in Ujung Pandang, June 7, 1961.

With the advantages of nanoparticles, Prof. There uses an apoptotic mechanism that promotes elimination and eliminates cells not needed by the body.

From these study, it was found that cancer cell death could be promoted through apoptosis and necrosis. At 500 µg / ml and 750 µg / ml concentration, there was a lot of cancer cell death by necrosis, but at a concentration of 250 µg / ml there was a lot of Caspase-3 expression.

In this study, cell death caused by caspase-3 expression was the main key to apoptosis. So it can be concluded that Moringa Oleifera Nanoparticles with a concentration of 250 μg / ml based on chitosan can be used as the basis for developing a safer and more effective oral cancer therapy.

“The anti-cancer potential of nanoparticles is proven to be great, but in the future, further research is needed to test the resistance of a therapeutic agent. As Moringa leaves are very easy to find, followed by the establishment of Nanotechnology Engineering program at UNAIR, we hope that the realization of this breakthrough will continue to be pursued, ” she concluded at the end of the oration.

Prof. There graduated from undergraduate program of Faculty of Dental Medicine UNAIR in 1985 and completed her Masters in Pathobiology Program in 2000. Throughout various seminars and international conferences, the class of 2004 UNAIR Doctor of Medicine graduate has now achieved the peak of her career as 517th Professor since UNAIR was founded. (*)

Author: Intang Arifia

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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