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Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Truth or Dare?
Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, 83100, Avellino, Italy
These three authors contributed equally to the data presented.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2010; in revised form: 10 March 2010 / Accepted: 10 March 2010 / Published: 31 March 2010
Abstract: A voluminous literature suggests that an increase in consumption of fruit and vegetables is a relatively easy and practical strategy to reduce significantly the incidence of cancer. The beneficial effect is mostly associated with the presence of phytochemicals in the diet. This review focuses on a group of them, namely isothiocyanate, curcumin, genistein, epigallocatechin gallate, lycopene and resveratrol, largely studied as chemopreventive agents and with potential clinical applications. Cellular and animal studies suggest that these molecules induce apoptosis and arrest cell growth by pleiotropic mechanisms. The anticancer efficacy of these compounds may result from their use in monotherapy or in association with chemotherapeutic drugs. This latter approach may represent a new pharmacological strategy against several types of cancers. However, despite the promising results from experimental studies, only a limited number of clinical trials are ongoing to assess the therapeutic efficacy of these molecules. Nevertheless, the preliminary results are promising and raise solid foundations for future investigations.
Keywords: isothiocyanate; curcumin; genistein; epigallocatechin gallate; lycopene; resveratrol; glucosinolates; clinical trials; apoptosis; phytochemicals
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Russo, M.; Spagnuolo, C.; Tedesco, I.; Russo, G.L. Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Truth or Dare? Toxins 2010, 2, 517-551.
Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco I, Russo GL. Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Truth or Dare? Toxins. 2010; 2(4):517-551.
Russo, Maria; Spagnuolo, Carmela; Tedesco, Idolo; Russo, Gian Luigi. 2010. "Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Truth or Dare?" Toxins 2, no. 4: 517-551.