Phytochemicals Against Cancer Stem Cells

Published on Jan 1, 2018
· DOI :10.1007/978-981-10-8548-2_24
Kok Hoong Leong10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UM: University of Malaya),
Kin Weng Kong14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UM: University of Malaya),
Lip Yong Chung19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UM: University of Malaya)
Cancer arises from unregulated growth of cells of heterogeneous nature in the presence of various subpopulations of mutated cells. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) were first identified in 1994 in acute myeloid leukaemia patient samples. Later on, it was demonstrated that CSCs also exist in solid tumours and supposed to play a critical role in the drug resistance and cancer relapse. In this regard, the natural products derived from dietary and non-dietary plants may serve as a source of novel chemotherapeutic agents. The dietary plant-based natural products include curcumin in turmeric, epigallocatechin gallate in green tea, genistein in soybeans, α-mangostin in mangosteen, resveratrol in grapes, silibinin from Asteraceae plants and sulforaphane in broccoli, while, the non-dietary plant-based natural products are andrographolide from Acanthaceae, berberine from Berberidaceae, betulonic acid from Meliaceae, bruceantin from Simaroubaceae, plumbagin from Plumbaginaceae and tigenin B from Celastraceae. These phytochemicals may mediate their activities on various cellular pathways to eradicate CSCs through targeting the self-renewal and stemness pathways (Notch, Hedgehog and Wnt), inhibiting antiapoptosis signals and resorting apoptosis process, inhibiting drug efflux by blocking the ATP-binding cassette transport proteins and dampening survival pathways (phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinases). Despite the increased number of scientific reports on active phytochemicals against CSCs, it is still relatively little as compared to the wide abundance of plant species. Thus, the aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of various phytochemicals derived from dietary and non-dietary plants to combat against the CSCs in cancer relapse and chemoresistance.
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