Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 8 No. May 2014 Special Edition

Anti-cancer Potential of Agarwood Distillate

Phirdaous Abbas1*, Yumi Zuhanis Has-Yun Hashim1,2, Azura Amid1, Hamzah Mohd Salleh1,2, Parveen Jamal1 and Irwandi Jaswir1

1Bioprocess and Molecular Engineering Research Unit, Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Kulliyyah of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia, P.O Box 10, 50728, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART), International Islamic, University Malaysia, P.O Box 10, 50728, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Received on 08 January 2014 and accepted on 24 March 2014



Agarwood or Gaharu by definition is the resin impregnated heartwood that produces unique aromatic scent when burnt. Apart from religious rituals and perfumes, agarwood has also been used as traditional medicines leading to the interest of this study which is to screen for anti-cancer properties. In this study, agarwood water distillate (hydrosol) obtained from distillation of agarwood (resin) were screened against MCF-7 cells, which are commonly used as in vitro model for breast cancer and VERO cells (normal cells). Distillate samples were collected, diluted and directly subjected to three anti-cancer screening assays (cell attachment assay, cell viability assay and sulforhodamine B assay). It was found that agarwood distillate possesses anti-cancer activity and exerts no significant effects on normal cells. This warrants further investigation with potential development of alternative remedy against cancer while adding more value to the agarwood industry.

Keywords : Agarwood, Gaharu, Distillate, Hydrosol, Anti-cancer, Cell culture.