Chapter 4

Natural Compounds: Cancer Preventive Agents

Sandeep K Misra

Abstract

Cancer chemoprevention is a rapidly evolving scientific research area. Cancer chemoprevention is the application of natural or synthetic agents to reduce or delay the onset of cancer. Different approaches are currently being used for cancer prevention and one of these important approaches is the use of natural compounds. Several natural compounds are currently under the investigation for their efficacy in preventing cancer. These compounds include curcumin, tea polyphenols, resveratrol, genistein, luteolin, lycopene among others. Curcumin is probably the most studied natural molecule for its ability to prevent cancer. Many of these compounds are being investigated using in vitro as well as animal models. Clinical trials are also underway for many natural compounds to test their efficiency in cancer chemoprevention. Recent evidence suggests that these natural molecules have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, cell cycle modifying and cell differentiating, apoptotic and suppression of proliferation and angiogenesis properties. These natural compounds target several molecular pathways. Some of these pathways include p53 family, activator protein 1, NF-κB, growth factors among others.

Total Pages: 64-86 (23)

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