Cancer stem cells and the impact of Chinese herbs, isolates and other complementary medical botanicals: a review

Daniel A. Weber, Janelle M. Wheat, Geoffrey M. Currie

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To elucidate the connection between the origin of certain cancers and stem cells, cancer stem cells, the stem cell niche and the tumor microenvironment, and to examine the ability of traditional Chinese herbal medicines and isolates in treating these types of cancers, the existing literature was examined and eight studies regarding Chinese herbal medicines and the prevention of cancer recurrence were critically analyzed and evaluated. Tumor stem cells may be the final target of traditional Chinese medicine. Soy flavones, ginsenoside Rg3, parthenolide, berbamine and curcumin are several examples of Chinese herbal medicines, which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer, and seem to act by targeting cancer stem cells and associated pathways resulting in tumorigenesis. The treatment approaches combined with an overall treatment protocol for the tumor microenvironment and chronic systemic inflammation are likely to provide a more successful outcome than a single tactical approach. As shown in numerous studies in the literature, using complementary disciplines with orthodox treatments may enhance treatment outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-503
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Chinese Integrative Medicine
    Volume10
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012

    Keywords

    • neoplastic stem cells
    • DNA methylation
    • cell hypoxia
    • telomere
    • telomerase
    • drugs
    • Chinese herbal
    • review

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