Various drug company use chemicals and compounds which originated either in the laboratory or taken from nature. Camptothecin is one of those compounds which is found and collected from nature. It is a plant with qualities to help create anticancer drugs and it is extracted from the South China or southwest of China's distribution of 'Camptotheca acuminata'. Camptothecin (CPT) is a cytotoxic quinoline alkaloid which inhibits the DNA enzyme - topoisomerase I (topo I). Its molecular formula is C20H16N2O4 and weight is 348.34.
It was first discovered in 1966 by M. E. Wall and M. C. Wani in systematic screening of natural products for anticancer drugs. They followed the process of isolating camptothecin from the bark and stem of Camptotheca acuminata (Camptotheca, Happy tree), a tree native to China used as a cancer treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine. CPT showed remarkable anticancer activity in preliminary clinical trials but also low solubility and (high) adverse drug reaction. Because of these disadvantages synthetic and medicinal chemists have developed numerous syntheses of Camptothecin and various derivatives to increase the benefits of the chemical, with good results.
In 1976 the Chinese chemist Gao Yisheng got ahead with the synthesis of racemic camptothecin. It had good effect on gastrointestinal, head and neck cancer, with no side effects but there was blood in the urine of a patient. 10- hydroxy camptothecin anticancer activity than camptothecin, also has obvious curative effect on liver cancer as well as head and neck cancer with fewer side effects.
It is considered as one of the best and early method of using camptothecin in the traditional Chinese medicine therapy for the treatment of cancer. In the preliminary clinical trials, it showed anti-cancerous properties, significant low solubility and contains highly adverse drug reaction characteristics. Its basically a tasteless compound and looks like a light yellow needled- crystal. During analysis it was found that its insoluble in water, but slightly soluble in methanol, chloroform and pyridine. Scientists have discovered its many aspects by now and a lot of revealing theories have been gathered. It's also a bit tricky to extract this compound. Camptothecin is known in many countries currently and being examined for medical purposes but China is considered the oldest user of this plant for curing different diseases.
We can say that Camptothecin is a very valuable substance found in our nature. And it is going to be one of the most in-demand compound as its very important quality is it's usefulness in anti-cancer treatment and analysis. It serves as a hope to the society and all those people who know about the cruelty of cancer.
Camptothecin- Hope Against Cancer