Pachycereus marginatus (DC.) Britton & Rose is a species belonging to the family Cactaceae. In traditional medicine, it is recommended to treat diabetes and gastrointestinal infections; however, there are no studies related to its use in cancer treatment. The in vitro antitumor effect of P. marginatus hexane, chloroform, methanol, and methanol-aqueous partition stem extracts, against murine lymphoma L5178Y-R and skin melanoma B16F10 cells, was evaluated in liquid medium by the colorimetric 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction assay. The extracts resulted in up to 84, 85, 84, and 82% cytotoxicity (p < 0.05) to L5178Y-R cells, respectively, and up to 39, 51, 48, and 42% cytotoxicity (p < 0.05) to B16F10 cells, respectively. Vehicle controls were not cytotoxic for tumor cells, and along with the extracts they did not affect viability of resident murine thymus and spleen lymphocytes. Taken together, the present results showed that P. marginatus extracts possess antitumor potential against L5178Y-R lymphoma and B16F10 skin melanoma cells.
Key words: Cancer, cacti, Pachycereus marginatus, lymphoma, melanoma, medicinal plants.
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