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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Dec;1846(2):405-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Phenethyl isothiocyanate: a comprehensive review of anti-cancer mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences and Cancer Biology Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA.
  • 2Department of Biomedical Sciences and Cancer Biology Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA; Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA.
  • 3Cancer Preventive Material Development Research Center, College of Korean Medicine, Department of Pathology, Kyunghee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 131-701, South Korea. Electronic address: sungkim7@khu.ac.kr.
  • 4Department of Biomedical Sciences and Cancer Biology Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA; Cancer Preventive Material Development Research Center, College of Korean Medicine, Department of Pathology, Kyunghee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 131-701, South Korea. Electronic address: sanjay.srivastava@ttuhsc.edu.

Abstract

The epidemiological evidence suggests a strong inverse relationship between dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables and the incidence of cancer. Among other constituents of cruciferous vegetables, isothiocyanates (ITC) are the main bioactive chemicals present. Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is present as gluconasturtiin in many cruciferous vegetables with remarkable anti-cancer effects. PEITC is known to not only prevent the initiation phase of carcinogenesis process but also to inhibit the progression of tumorigenesis. PEITC targets multiple proteins to suppress various cancer-promoting mechanisms such as cell proliferation, progression and metastasis. Pre-clinical evidence suggests that combination of PEITC with conventional anti-cancer agents is also highly effective in improving overall efficacy. Based on accumulating evidence, PEITC appears to be a promising agent for cancer therapy and is already under clinical trials for leukemia and lung cancer. This is the first review which provides a comprehensive analysis of known targets and mechanisms along with a critical evaluation of PEITC as a future anti-cancer agent.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Chemoprevention; Cruciferous vegetables; Isothiocyanates; PEITC; Reactive oxygen species

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