Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Phillip Harries

Second Advisor

Dr. Virginia Rider

Third Advisor

Dr. Santimukul Santra


Adenocarcinoma is an aggressive form of lung cancer that has a high risk of recurrence with a survival rate of 33%. In recent years, there has been much interest in the ability of naturally occurring plant derived phenols to inhibit specific type of cancers. Compounds like curcumin derived from turmeric, rutin derived from citrus fruits and resveratrol derived from blueberries have been of particular interest. In this thesis I studied the anti-cancer effects of the above-mentioned compounds on a human a549 adenocarcinoma cell line. Inverted phase contrast microscopy was used to observe alterations to the cytomorphology of cells. An MTT assay was used to measure cell viability. Dose and time dependent A549 cell viability were observed following treatment with curcumin, rutin and resveratrol. The effects on cell migration after treatment with compounds was determined by wound-healing assay and MTT assay. I found that the survival rates of curcumin treated cells reduced at higher concentrations after 24 hours treatment when compared to rutin and resveratrol treated cells, although resveratrol showed lower viability than rutin. After 48 hours of treatment the viability of curcumin treated cells dropped to 10% with somewhat higher survival with rutin (18% viability) and resveratrol (12% viability). Morphological analysis showed that compound treated cells became round and the normal spindle shape disappeared. Over a period of 6h to 24h, the number of bright circular dead floating cells increased. Treatment with curcumin and resveratrol strongly reduced wound repair and significantly inhibited the migration of A549 cells in a concentration dependent manner. Rutin treatment reduced wound repair but had a very minimal effect on cell migration. These findings provide support to the potential utility of curcumin, resveratrol and rutin as natural molecules with anticancer activity against adenocarcinoma.



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