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Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):352-62. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.053. Epub 2008 May 9.

Multitargeted therapy of cancer by silymarin.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado Denver, 4200 East Ninth Street, Box C238, Denver, CO 80262, USA.

Abstract

Silymarin, a flavonolignan from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) plant, is used for the protection against various liver conditions in both clinical settings and experimental models. In this review, we summarize the recent investigations and mechanistic studies regarding possible molecular targets of silymarin for cancer prevention. Number of studies has established the cancer chemopreventive role of silymarin in both in vivo and in vitro models. Silymarin modulates imbalance between cell survival and apoptosis through interference with the expressions of cell cycle regulators and proteins involved in apoptosis. In addition, silymarin also showed anti-inflammatory as well as anti-metastatic activity. Further, the protective effects of silymarin and its major active constituent, silibinin, studied in various tissues, suggest a clinical application in cancer patients as an adjunct to established therapies, to prevent or reduce chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy-induced toxicity. This review focuses on the chemistry and analogues of silymarin, multiple possible molecular mechanisms, in vitro as well as in vivo anti-cancer activities, and studies on human clinical trials.

PMID:
18472213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2612997
Free PMC Article

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