TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - Three Gadjah Mada University (UGM) students create a formula from centipedes as a cure for breast cancer in replacing the traditional chemotherapy. The team was supervised by veterinarian Retno Murwanti, MP, PhD.
The three UGM Pharmacy Faculty students are Gemilang Sekar Hapsari, Alya Lulu’ah, and Firda Ridhayani. “Centipedes have an anticancer active para-benzoquinone content that creates the simultaneous death of cells or apoptosis,” said Sekar on Thursday, August 2.
The team firstly collected the centipedes from an area in Ajibarang, Banyumas, to determine the species. The centipedes were then macerated with 96 percent ethanol to create an extract. The team then conducted a Thin-layer Chromatography (TLC) test followed by conducting an MTT assay which is a colorimetric assay for assessing cell metabolic activity.
The results show that centipede extract contains benzoquinone and has a 50 percent level inhibition on the cells that cause breast cancer. “The benzoquinone compound in centipedes is able to interact with the native ligand that binds to the enzymes,” said Firda.
Firda concluded that the benzoquinone in centipedes can potentially act as a chemoprevention agent on targeted breast cancer treatment. The UGM team’s concern was sparked by the fact that breast cancer was 12.90 percent responsible for Indonesia’s 8.2 million deaths in 2012.