UNAIR Scientists Discover New Anti-Cancer Compounds from Calophyllum tetrapterum

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Scientists of Universitas Airlangga continue to conduct many useful researches. This time Dr. Mulyadi Tanjung, MS., managed to find new anti-cancer compounds from the bintangor (Calophyllum tetrapterum) plant.

According to him, bintangor is an Indonesian endemic plant. Bintangor, he explained, is a tall plant that grows in Kalimantan, Batam, Bangka Belitung, Papua.

“This plant is known by a different name in each region. Some regions recognize bintangor plants by the name mentangor, aci, betur, “he explained.

Furthermore, he also said that bintangor is widely used by the community as traditional medicine. Some people, he added, use bintangor as a cancer drug and HIV.

“One type of bintangor, namely Calophyllum tetrapterum is proven to contain active compounds as anti-cancer. The bintangor plant belongs to the large genus Calophyllum of Guttiferae family, “he said.

Furthermore, he also said that in the scientific research he and his team conducted with bintangor in Kalimantan, Calophyllum tetrapterum. New active compounds were found, Calotetrapterin A, Calotetrapterin B and Calotetrapterin C. The new compounds, he added, was tested on leukemia cancer cells (murin leukemia cell P 388) and they showed strong activity.

“The results of this study provide excellent prospects in the world of health in the effort to find anti-cancer drugs based on safer natural ingredients. The discovery of the Calotetrapterin A-C compound has been published in the journal Natural Product Research in 2019, “he said.

In the end, he also said, the part of the plant under study was the stem bark, a part often used by the community as a traditional medicinal herb. The bark was obtained from the Mendawak river area, East Kalimantan. In addition, he explained, the bark is a part of the plant where more secondary metabolites are stored.

“The next research will focus on the exploration of other Calophyllum from various regions of Indonesia, so that the types of Indonesian Calophyllum can be mapped as sources of cancer drugs,” he concluded.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia



Mulyadi Tanjung, Tjitjik Srie Tjahjandarie, Ratih Dewi Saputri, Baharrani Dwi Kurnia, Muhammad Faisal Rachman & Yana Maolana Syah, 2019, Calotetrapterins A-C, three new pyranoxanthones and their cytotoxicity from the stem bark of Calophyllum tetrapterum Miq, Natural Product Research.

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