Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Chemistry

Subject Categories



College of Science



Thesis Adviser

Rodolfo E. Sumayao

Defense Panel Chair

Marissa G. Noel

Defense Panel Member

Maria Carmen S. Tan
Lemmuel L. Tayo


Colorectal cancer is uncontrolled cell division initially found in the colon and rectum. Colon and rectal cancer rank fifth and tenth most deaths among other cancer types worldwide in 2018. In the same year, the Philippines experienced over 15,000 new cases of and 8,000 deaths due to colorectal cancer. The disease commonly affects the elderly where standard treatments may not be recommended because of the range of overall fitness. Moreover, there is a lack of proof-of-concept in plant-based cancer treatments. Antidesma bunius, locally known as bignay, is found in many Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines. Autophagy and oxidative stress pathways have been implicated in the molecular pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. In the present study, the effects of A. bunius fruit aqueous extracts on redox status, mitochondrial transmembrane potential (MTP), and gene expressions associated with autophagy and oxidative stress were determined using HCT-116 cancer cells. Treatment of HCT-116 cells with a sublethal concentration of the aqueous extracts resulted in the reduction of cell viability by 23.4% compared to control. Oxidative stress index was found to be decreased upon treatment with A. bunius fruit extract, however total glutathione remains unchanged. MTP was increased in response to the treatment. The present study is a proof-of-concept of a possible hormetic effect of A. bunius at sublethal dose in HCT-116. Synergistic polyphenolic effects may result in increased autophagy activity and overexpression of intracellular antioxidants. While majority of in vitro studies of treatment on cancer showed depolarized MTP and increased intracellular ROS, the present study showed otherwise. This may be due to various factors, such as treatment duration, cell type, and chemical nature of the fruit extract. It is envisaged that the present study may aid in the development of therapeutic intervention or recommendation in the pipeline for the treatment or management of colorectal cancer.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

iv, 177 leaves


Colon (Anatomy)—Cancer; Rectum—Cancer; Cancer cells

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