Medicinal plants and cancer chemoprevention.

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Curr Drug Metab. 2008 Sep;9(7):581-91.


Medicinal plants and cancer chemoprevention.
 
Desai AG, Qazi GN, Ganju RK, El-Tamer M, Singh J, Saxena AK, Bedi YS, Taneja SC, Bhat HK.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Cancer
is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Although great
advancements have been made in the treatment and control of cancer
progression, significant deficiencies and room for improvement remain.
A number of undesired side effects sometimes occur during chemotherapy.
Natural therapies, such as the use of plant-derived products in cancer
treatment, may reduce adverse side effects. Currently, a few plant
products are being used to treat cancer. However, a myriad of many
plant products exist that have shown very promising anti-cancer
properties in vitro, but have yet to be evaluated in humans. Further
study is required to determine the efficacy of these plant products in
treating cancers in humans. This review will focus on the various
plant-derived chemical compounds that have, in recent years, shown
promise as anticancer agents and will outline their potential mechanism
of action.