In traditional medicine, Ficus carica (also known as fig) latex is recognized as a remedy with various therapeutic effects. Recently, in vitro studies have reported the anticancer effect of this latex on cancer cell lines. This study evaluated the effect of this latex on breast cancer growth, hematological parameters, and histopathology in rats.
Twenty-four female rats were randomly divided into 3 groups. In cancerous group, 0.5 ml 7, 12-dimethylbenz (a) anthracene was injected to nipple for breast cancer induction. The control group received sesame oil at the same volume through similar route. In fig latex treated group (Fle), breast cancer was induced and then 0.5 ml of fig latex was intratumorally injected on a daily basis for 4 weeks. Tumor size was measured at the 2 nd, 4 th and 6 th weeks of the experiment. Blood samples were used for investigation of the hematological parameters and livers, kidneys and tumor tissues were removed for histopathological analysis.
The tumor size in Fle group was significantly decreased compared to the cancerous group. Haematocrit, hemoglobin, RBC and their indices were significantly decreased, whereas platelet, leukocyte and white blood cell numbers were significantly increased in cancerous group compared to the control group. There were no changes in these parameters in the Fle group compared to the control group. There were severe pathological changes in the livers and kidneys of cancerous group, but not in Fle group.