Comparing the Effects of Different Natural Products on Reducing Tumor Growth in a Drosophila Model

(1) Solorsano Middle School, Gilroy, California
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Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the present day and due to side-effects on current chemotherapies there is a need for testing natural products in cancer studies. In this work, we compared the effects of common natural products, including sesame, cinnamon, garlic, moringa and turmeric. The tumor model was a comparison of “rough-eye” versus “smooth-eye” studied in Drosophila eye, which provides easy detection of the phenotypes via simple microscopy. Our data showed that these natural products cannot be used to reduce tumors once it has completely formed. However, our data confirmed that these natural products can be used to reduce cancer cell growth when treated early. Moringa and sesame helped reduce tumor size when used in right concentrations. Our study also revealed a 15% moringa solution is the best candidate, of the ones tested, to prevent tumors. Flies treated with moringa showed longer eye lengths and widths compared to the control sample and close to healthy wild flies. For the flies treated with moringa, the number of flies with smooth-eye and uniform ommatidia increased with natural product concentration until 15% and decreased at 20%. Garlic, turmeric and cinnamon products did not show much efficacy on the tumor reduction. Though turmeric treatment did not prevent cancer, it helped increase the lifespan compared to control samples and other natural products.

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