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Biotechnology of Viscum Album L. and Cancer Treatment: A Review

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 6 ]

Author(s):

Vasileios Tsekouras* and Spyridon Kintzios   Pages 738 - 746 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: This review aims to highlight biotechnological techniques applied for the identification, isolation and propagation of mistletoe-derived bioactive compounds and the preclinical evaluation of their anticancer properties.

Methods: We undertook a structured search of bibliographic databases to identify and evaluate the literature, regarding biotechnology of mistletoe and malignancy treatment. The selected articles were classified into five modules according to the study design.

Results: Firstly, we have provided an overview of the role of biotechnology in plant-derived pharmaceuticals, by reviewing twelve articles. Then, V. album L. botany and a retrospection of the plant pharmaceutical applications are presented from a set of ten articles. Subsequently, mistletoe derived compounds and their anticancer properties are highlighted, throughout sixty-two articles, which emphasized the mechanisms of antitumor action. The next module is referred to as the biosynthesis of mistletoe bioactive compounds, covering nine cases of ‘in vitro’ propagation and genetic manipulation. Finally, fourteen assays regarding mistletoe preparations and preclinical testing for chemosensitivity are presented.

Conclusion: Biotechnology provides essential tools for the identification, production and evaluation of anticancer compounds derived from Viscum album L. The preclinical studies indicate the potential use of V. album preparations in chemotherapy but further research is essential for standardizing the therapeutic benefits of mistletoe compounds in the treatment of malignancies.

Keywords:

Mistletoe, biotechnology, extracts, lectins, in vitro, in vivo, chemotherapy.

Affiliation:

Department of Biotechnology, School of Food Science, Biotechnology and Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Department of Biotechnology, School of Food Science, Biotechnology and Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens



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