Year of Publication


Document Type





Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Val Adams


Cancer is a group of diseases that are the second leading cause of human mortality in the United States. Discovering new therapies is vital to conquer cancer. Thymoquinone (TQ) is found in the plant Nigella sativa. TQ was found to be cytotoxic to the human ovarian cancer cell lines PA-1, CAOV-3 and SKOV-3, which have varying p53 status. PA-1 cells were the most sensitive, indicating that TQ was effective against cells having wild-type (WT) p53. Western blots indicated an increase in p53 in cell lines having WT p53. TQ when given concurrently with cisplatin resulted in antagonism for PA-1, A172 and H460 cell lines. Sequential exposure to TQ followed by cisplatin resulted in synergy or additive effects in these cell lines. Sequential exposure to cisplatin followed by TQ resulted in additive or moderate antagonism in these cell lines. Concurrent exposure to TQ and paclitaxel showed synergy in PA-1 and H460 cells. Sequential exposure to TQ followed by paclitaxel resulted in synergism or antagonism in A172, PA-1, and H460 cells. Paclitaxel followed by TQ resulted in antagonism or synergism in these cells. These results demonstrate that TQ has a potential as an antineoplastic agent and may affect p53 levels.