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Mol Biotechnol. 2005 Jul;30(3):253-70.

Flavonoid compounds in maintenance of prostate health and prevention and treatment of cancer.

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  • 1Novogen Ltd., North Ryde, NSW, Australia.


Compounds based on a flavonoid (di-phenolic) ring structure are emerging as a potentially important new class of pharmaceutical compounds with a broad range of biological activities, most prominent of which are their potential role as anticancer agents. These compounds exert a wide range of upregulating and downregulating effects on signal transduction processes within cells in both plants and animals. The observation that human communities, which consume large quantities of these compounds (legume-based vegetarian diets), have a lower incidence of many degenerative diseases and some cancers has led to the speculation that these compounds, or synthetic analogs, may be of therapeutic value. This article reviews the evidence supporting this hypothesis and provides some examples of attempts to develop new therapeutics based on dietary isoflavones or novel isoflavonoid structures in maintaining prostate health and in cancer treatment and management. One of these compounds, phenoxodiol, is now in human clinical trials and has shown promise in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer where the cancer is refractory or resistant to standard chemotherapy, and in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

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