Anticancer, Chemopreventive and Radioprotective Potential of Black Plum (Eugenia Jambolana Lam.)


Despite good understanding of the molecular basis of the disease and advances in treatment, globally canceris still a major cause of death. Estimates are that it will surpass cardiovascular disease as the leading cause ofdeath, with higher incidences in the developing countries that have minimal resources. Chemotherapy andradiotherapy, the two most commonly used treatment modalities, are associated with untoward side effects.This has necessitated the search for alternatives that are effective, non toxic and easily affordable for patientsand traditional medicinal plants are an ideal source. Eugenia jambolana Lam., commonly known as blackplum or ‘jamun’ is an important medicinal plant in various traditional systems of medicine. It is effective in thetreatment of diabetes mellitus, inflammation, ulcers and diarrhea and preclinical studies have also shown it topossess antineoplastic, chemopreventive and radioprotective properties. Here, for the first time, the effects ofjamun in treatment and prevention of cancer, and the mechanisms responsible for these effects are appraised.Additionally the drawbacks in existing knowledge are also stressed to emphasize the possible avenues that needto be investigated, so that maximum effects on both prevention and cure can be attained.