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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002 Dec;23(12):1102-6.

Potential role of tetrandrine in cancer therapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan 104, China.


Tetrandrine, a bisbenylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the dried root of Stephenia tetrandra S Moore, exhibits very broad pharmacological actions, including anti-tumor activity. The beneficial effects of tetrandrine on tumor cell cytotoxicity and radiosensitization, multidrug resistance, normal tissue radioprotection, and angiogenesis are most promising and deserve great attention. Tetrandrine has potential either as a tumoricidal agent or as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. To evaluate the potential clinical efficacy of tetrandrine for cancer therapy, more mechanism-based pharmacological, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic studies are required.

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