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Int J Mol Sci. 2008 Jun;9(7):1196-206. doi: 10.3390/ijms9071196. Epub 2008 Jul 12.

Tea polyphenols and their roles in cancer prevention and chemotherapy.

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Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. <>


Many plant-derived, dietary polyphenols have been studied for their chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties against human cancers, including green tea polyphenols, genistein (found in soy), apigenin (celery, parsley), luteolin (broccoli), quercetin (onions), kaempferol (broccoli, grapefruits), curcumin (turmeric), etc. The more we understand their involved molecular mechanisms and cellular targets, the better we could utilize these "natural gifts" for the prevention and treatment of human cancer. Furthermore, better understanding of their structure-activity relationships will guide synthesis of analog compounds with improved bio-availability, stability, potency and specificity. This review focuses on green tea polyphenols and seeks to summarize several reported biological effects of tea polyphenols in human cancer systems, highlight the molecular targets and pathways identified, and discuss the role of tea polyphenols in the prevention and treatment of human cancer. The review also briefly describes several other dietary polyphenols and their biological effects on cancer prevention and chemotherapy.


cancer prevention; chemotherapy; tea polyphenols

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