Chapter 6

Some Natural Products May Represent a Future Alternative to Anti-Neoplastic Medicine

Glenda Nicioli da Silva and Daisy Maria Fávero Salvadori

Abstract

Currently, the main treatments available for cancer include surgery, biological therapy, radiation and chemotherapy. However, these treatments have strong secondary effects on patients, which can prohibit their use. Therefore, the search for alternative treatments is a current challenge for scientists. Several studies have identified compounds from plants that exhibit biological properties compatible with the desired activity of anti-neoplastic drugs. Natural products are thought to be more compatible with the human body and cause fewer side effects. Furthermore, substances present in fruits, vegetables and herbal essential oils have demonstrated important antiproliferative activity, inducing cell and genomic changes favorable for cancer prevention and therapy. Taking into account that the molecular mechanisms by which natural compounds function to prevent cancer are not fully understood and that molecular targets can be important tools for evaluating their effectiveness, this chapter aims to present and discuss potential active compounds as possible anti-cancer agents.

Total Pages: 254-279 (26)

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