Affiliation: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Calabria, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy.
Melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers are among the most prevalent cancers in the human population. In the present work latex of Ficus carica cultivar Dottato from Italy collected from fruits and leaves was examined to assess its free radical-scavenging activity with 1,1-diphenyl-2 picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and its phototoxicity on A375 human melanoma cells. The latex obtained from the fruits of Ficus carica cv. Dottato showed the best antiradical activity with an IC50 value of 0.05 mg/ml while the latex obtained from the leaves showed the best antiproliferative activity with an IC50 value of 1.5 μg/ml on the human tumor cell line A375 (melanoma) after irradiation at a specific UVA dose (1.08 J/cm2). Control experiments with UVA light or drugs alone were carried out without significant cytotoxic effects. Polyphenolic content of the samples was also evaluated. This is the first study comparing F. carica latex of leaves and fruits. Plant derived natural products have long been and will continue to be an important source for anticancer drug development.