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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2014 Mar;23(2):84-9. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e328364f23e.

Effect of green tea catechins on breast carcinogenesis: a systematic review of in-vitro and in-vivo experimental studies.

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  • 1Department of Basic Medical Lessons, Faculty of Health and Caring Professions, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Catechins (flavan-3-oils) are the main flavonoids present in green tea. The potential cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic properties of green tea catechins have been the focus of research efforts in the last two decades. This systematic review aims to generate in vitro and in vivo data on the effect of green tea catechins on breast carcinogenesis. Electronic databases were searched with the appropriate search terms. Existing evidence suggests that green tea catechins modulate breast cell carcinogenesis. The effect of green tea catechins on breast cell carcinogenesis has been investigated in different experimental models and under different experimental conditions, that is, carcinogen investigated, green tea catechin dosage regimen, treatment with green tea extract versus pure synthetic EGCG, and time point of treatment with green tea catechins in relation to the exposure to the carcinogen. Although the effect of green tea catechins was not always statistically significant, the protective effect of green tea catechins was demonstrated in all the trials, suggesting that treatment with green tea catechins should be further investigated in the clinical setting of chemoprevention of high-risk women. However, it should be emphasized that the reported actions of green tea catechins are observed in high concentrations that are difficult to achieve in the clinical setting. This drawback could be overcome by designing green tea catechins with better bioavailability and/or by cotreatment combining breast cancer endocrine treatment with green tea catechins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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