Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy: Promising Nontoxic by John C. Boik

By John C. Boik

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10 Momand J, Wu HH, Dasgupta G. MDM2—master regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. Gene 2000 Jan 25; 242(1– 2):15–29. 11 Greenwald P, Kelloff G, Burch-Whitman C, et al. Chemoprevention. CA Cancer J Clin 1995; 45:31–49. 12 Ames BN, Shigenaga MK, Hagen TM. Oxidants, antioxidants and the degenerative diseases of aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993 Sep; 90:7915–22. 13 Reiter RJ, Melchiorri D, Sewerynek E, Poeggeler B, et al. A review of the evidence supporting melatonin’s role as an antioxidant.

Natural compounds or chemotherapy drugs), their effects are more likely to be beneficial or at least not harmful. Even when beneficial, however, the effects are likely to be mild for many patients. For these reasons, I regard antioxidants as supportive agents best used within larger combinations of cancer-inhibiting compounds. Natural compounds such as flavonoids that act as antioxidants but also inhibit cancer through other means have the potential to play a more primary role in treatment. There is some concern that antioxidants may increase the success of metastasizing cells.

6, both for a single nucleotide and for a series of nucleotides in DNA. 8 of Appendix A. Methylation of cytosine is actually the only known nonaberrant modification to DNA, and it plays a role in determining which genes are activated for transcription. Thus, methylation acts as an intelligent switching system to control the production of proteins needed at dif- Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy ferent times. In this regard, it is more like a long-term switching system than a short-term one, since methylation patterns are passed from generation to generation.

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