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Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jan;5(9):1-12. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.79093.

Flavonoids: A versatile source of anticancer drugs.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur-302004, Rajasthan, India.


An exponential increase in the number of studies investigating how different components of the diet interact at the molecular and cellular level to determine the fate of a cell has been witnessed. In search for anticancer drugs compelling data from laboratories, epidemiologic investigations, and human clinical trials showed that flavonoids have important effects on cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. In many molecular mechanisms of action for prevention against cancer, flavonoids play a major role by interacting between different types of genes and enzymes. Many mechanisms of action have been identified, including carcinogen inactivation, antiproliferation, cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, antioxidation, and reversal of multidrug resistance or a combination of these mechanisms. This review focuses on the anticancer activity of flavonoids as well as their molecular mechanisms, including the treatment of mammary and prostate cancer. This review also highlights some advanced derivatives of flavonoids, which play an important role against cancer.


Apoptosis; estrogens receptor; flavonoids; mammary cancer; prostate cancer

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