Skincancer is a preeminent global public health problem. Over the past threedecades, skin cancer counting is more than the combined incidence of cancers ofthe colon, lung,breast, and prostate cancer. Skin cancer is generally classifiedinto two discrete categories such as malignant melanoma and non-melanocyticcutaneous carcinoma (NMSC). NMSC is more frequent than melanoma, among this basalcell carcinoma (BCC) accounts the majority of cases for about 80%–85% and has alow rate of metastasis, whereas squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has a highertendency to metastasize and cause death than BCC. In contrast, melanoma standfor less than one percent of skin cancer but accounts for 80% of all cutaneouscarcinomas related deaths. An estimated five-year survival rate of melanomapatients was detected about 98%, but it falls to 62% when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and18 percent when metastasizes to distant organs.
DNAis the molecular target for many of the drugs that are used in cancer therapeutics,and these are proven as potent inducers of cell death. They act via a differentmechanism based on the chemistry of the lesions in the cell they initiateapoptosis. During the last ten years, specific DNA lesions that triggerapoptosis have been identified. These include O6-methylguanine, baseN-alkylations, bulky DNA adducts, DNA cross-links and DNA double-strand breaks(DSBs).
Potentially lethal events in the cell are DNA double-strand breaks(DSBs) that prevent the replication and transcription, cause cell-cycle arrestactivate pro-apoptotic genes such as BAX (BCL2-associated X protein), PUMA (p53upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and FAS receptor finally apoptosis.Anticancer agents that target DNA are some of the most effective agents in clinicaluse and have produced significant increases in the survival of cancer patients,but unfortunately, they are extremely toxic. Developmentof effective and side effects lacking therapy in health care is the newdirection to combat cancer treatment. Bioactive ingredients of plant secondarymetabolites are proven as a potential in this regard as they pretend differentiallyon cancer cells only, without altering normal cells. Phytochemicals exhibit awide range of effects, which works in multiple targets like as antioxidant,anti inflammatory, anti angiogenic to prevent,impede, delay, or cure cancer. Essential oils, the concentrated hydrophobic liquids, have long beenused in traditional medicine for their specific aromas and also as flavoringagents in food. The lipophilic nature of these Essential oils enables them toeasily cross the membranes of the cells and reach inside the cell.
The majorityof essential oils components are terpenoids in chemical nature, most commonlymonoterpenes. Alpha pinene (AP) is an organic compound of the monoterpeneclass, one of two isomers of pinene. It is found in the oils of many species ofmany coniferous trees, notably the pine and also found in the essential oil ofrosemary. AP isolated from pine treesexhibited strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In this study,we investigated the anticancer effect of AP and its mechanism of action in humanskin epidermoid carcinoma (A431) and melanoma cells (A375).