Author(s): Kawasaki BT, Hurt EM, Mistree T, Farrar WL
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Abstract Cancer, second only to heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the US. Although progress has been made in the early detection of cancer and in improvements of cancer therapies, the ability to provide long-term survival has been limited. Increasing evidence suggests that a minute, biologically unique population of cancer stem cells (SCs) exists in most neoplasms and may be responsible for tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and relapse. Characterization of cancer SCs has led to the identification of key cellular activities that may make cancer SCs vulnerable to therapeutic interventions that target drug-effluxing capabilities, stem cell pathways, anti-apoptotic mechanisms, and induction of differentiation. Phytochemicals, compounds made from fruits, vegetables, and grains, possess anti-cancer properties and represent a promising therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of many cancers. This review summarizes the evidence for the cancer SC hypothesis and discusses the potential mechanisms by which phytochemicals might target cancer SCs.
This article was published in Mol Interv
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy