Andrographolide, a diterpene lactone from Andrographis paniculata and its therapeutic promises in cancer

Muhammad Torequl Islam, Eunüs S. Ali, Shaikh Jamal Uddin, Md Amirul Islam, Subrata Shaw, Ishaq N. Khan, Seyed Soheil Saeedi Saravi, Saheem Ahmad, Shahnawaz Rehman, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Mihnea Alexandru Găman, Amelia Maria Găman, Santosh Yele, Asish Kumar Das, João Marcelo de Castro e Sousa, Sandra Maria Mendes de Moura Dantas, Hercília Maria Lins Rolim, Ana Amélia de Carvalho Melo-Cavalcante, Mohammad S. Mubarak, Nagendra Sastry YarlaJamil A. Shilpi, Siddhartha Kumar Mishra, Atanas G. Atanasov, Mohammad Amjad Kamal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


The diterpene lactone andrographolide, isolated from Andrographis paniculata, has been proven to possess several important protective biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, hypolipidemic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective effects. In addition, it has been reported to play a therapeutic role in the treatment of major human diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and colitis. This systematic review aims to highlight andrographolide as a promising agent in cancer treatment. To this purpose, a number of databases were used to search for the cytotoxic/anticancer effects of andrographolide in pre-clinical and clinical studies. Among 1703 identified literature articles, 139 were included in this review; 109 were investigated as non-clinical, whereas 24, 3, and 3 were pre-clinical, clinical, and non-pre-clinical trials, respectively. Among the model systems, cultured cell lines appeared as the most frequently (79.14%) used, followed by in vivo models using rodents, among others. Furthermore, andrographolide was found to exert cytotoxic/anticancer effects on almost all types of cell lines with the underlying mechanisms involving oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest, anti-inflammatory and immune system mediated effects, apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy, inhibition of cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, invasion, anti-angiogenic activity, and other miscellaneous actions. After careful consideration of the relevant evidence, we suggest that andrographolide can be one of the potential agents in the treatment of cancer in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalCancer Letters
Publication statusPrint publication - 28 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Andrographis paniculata
  • Andrographolide
  • Anticancer
  • Bioactive lactone
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diterpene lactone


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