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Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Aug 1. doi: 10.1111/bph.14816. [Epub ahead of print]

Natural compounds as potential adjuvants to cancer therapy: preclinical evidence.

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Department of Life Science and Institute of Biotechnology, National Dong Hwa University, No.1, Sec.2, Da-Hsueh Rd., Shoufeng, Hualien, 97401, Taiwan.
Center for Prevention and Therapy of Gynaecological Cancers, Department of Research, Tzu Chi Hospital, Hualien, 970, Taiwan.
Neural Regeneration Laboratory, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No.201, Sec. 2, Shipai Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City, 11217, Taiwan.
Department of Chemistry, National Dong-Hwa University, No.1, Sec.2, Da-Hsueh Rd., Shoufeng, Hualien, 97401, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Marine Biotechnology, National Dong Hwa University, No.2, Houwan Rd., Checheng, Pingtung, 94450, Taiwan.
Department of Biotechnology, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 1, Nan-Tai Street, Yungkang Dist, Tainan City, 710, Taiwan.
Department of Basic Medical Science, Center for Transitional Medicine, Xiamen Medical College, Xiamen, 361023, China.


Traditional chemotherapy is being considered due to hindrances caused by systemic toxicity. Currently the administration of multiple chemotherapeutic drugs with different biochemical/molecular targets, known as combination chemotherapy, has attained numerous benefits like efficacy enhancement and amelioration of adverse effects that has been broadly applied to various cancer types. Additionally, seeking natural-based alternatives with less toxicity has become more important. Experimental evidence suggests that herbal extracts such as Solanum nigrum and Claviceps purpurea and isolated herbal compounds (e.g., curcumin, resveratrol, and matairesinol) combined with antitumoral drugs have the potential to attenuate resistance against cancer therapy and to exert chemoprotective actions. Plant products are not free of risks: herb adverse effects, including herb drug interactions, should be carefully considered.


chemoresistance; chemotherapeutic drugs; chemotherapy; natural compounds; synergistic effect


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