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Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1425-38. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.04.007. Epub 2010 Apr 10.

New advances in molecular mechanisms and the prevention of adriamycin toxicity by antioxidant nutrients.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology JosĂ© Mataix VerdĂș, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.


Anthracyclines (doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, and idarubicin) are currently the most effective group of anti-neoplastic drugs used in clinical practice. Of these, doxorubicin (also called adriamycin) is a key chemotherapeutic agent in cancer treatment, although its use is limited as a consequence of the chronic and acute toxicity associated with this drug. The molecular mechanisms of doxorubicin account for both the anti-cancer and the toxic side effects. Many antioxidants have been assayed, with positive or negative results, to prevent the toxicity of doxorubicin. The present review has two main goals: (1) to report the latest findings regarding the molecular mechanisms of doxorubicin toxicity; (2) to update our understanding of the role of natural antioxidants in preventive therapy against doxorubicin-induced toxicity. This review provides new evidence for the chemoprevention of doxorubicin toxicity, making use of natural antioxidants - in particular vitamin E, vitamin C, coenzyme Q, carotenoids, vitamin A, flavonoids, polyphenol, resveratrol, antioxidant from virgin olive oil and selenium - and offers new insights into the molecular mechanisms of doxorubicin toxicity with respect to DNA damage, free radicals and other parameters.

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