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Neoplasma. 2008;55(2):81-6.

alpha-Lipoic acid: the potential for use in cancer therapy.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Kuwait.


This review deals with alpha-lipoic acid (LA) from the point of its chemical and biological characteristics affecting enzymatic activities that are part of cellular biochemical processes in normal and cancer cells. This includes attributes of LA that are related to its ability to act as a free-radicals scavenger and also as a radical generator. LA is discussed in the light of its physico-chemical features, toxicity, biochemical bases of LA biological activities, and mechanisms of action. Additionally, it is discussed how these properties of LA are reflected by results of in vivo experiments with cancer cells and in experimental cancer chemotherapy. Finally, the results of LA use in human cancer chemotherapy and as chemopreventive agent are discussed in the light of LA future inclusion into chemotherapeutic protocols.

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