On Wednesday, 30 November 2022 to 4 December 2022, the 35th National Student Science Week (PIMNAS) was held. The implementation of the 35th year PIMNAS is carried out offline with strict health protocols that take place at the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM), East Java. PIMNAS is the culmination of a series of Student Creativity Program (PKM) activities that will be held from June to September 2022. Through this program, the PKM Biology Team chaired by Eri Dwi Suyanti (Biology 2020) with members Siti Mudrikah (Biology 2020), Nafatia Zulfa (Pharmacy 2020), Muhammad Fityatul Haq (Biology 2020), and Sabrina Novia Ramadani (Pharmacy 2020) are under assisted by Lisna Hidayati, S.Si. M. Biotech. carried out a research entitled “Induction of Apoptosis of Chitosan Nanoparticles Alkaloid Fraction of Tapak Dara Leaves (Catharanthus roseus L.) against MCF-7 Breast Cancer Linear Cells.”
Cases of breast cancer are one of the highest causes of death in the world. Until 2020, an estimated 2.3 million women worldwide were diagnosed with breast cancer and as many as 6 million died from breast cancer. Common treatments that are often performed on breast cancer patients such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, generally cause many side effects, hence alternative uses of safer anticancer agents are needed. This prompted the PKM Biology Team to conduct a research to search for anticancer agents from potential natural ingredients that could be used in alternative treatments for breast cancer with minimal side effects compared to anticancer drugs made from chemicals.
From these problems, the PKM Biology Team studied alkaloid compounds in Tapak Dara Leaves (Catharanthus roseus L.) which have antitumor activity and have the potential to induce apoptosis of cancer cells. The alkaloid compounds from tapak dara leaves are then combined with chitosan nanoparticle technology to increase drug efficacy in reaching targeted areas thereby increasing the effectiveness of alkaloid compounds in targeting cancer cells. This research won 2nd place or a silver equivalent award in the PKM-RE 1 presentation class at the closing of PIMNAS 35. In the future, the PKM Biology Team hopes that research development related to anti-cancer agents from other natural ingredients with a combination of nanoparticles will continue to be developed in order to find alternative breast cancer treatments that are more effective and with minimal side effects.