Part of the book: Biomedical Engineering
Autophagy is a vital basic phenomenon that widely exists in eukaryotic cells. As one type of programmed cell death, autophagy has gained much more attention in the past few years. Recent studies suggest that the alterations in autophagy are associated with the genesis and development of cancers. It can affect cell apoptosis, angiogenesis, and treatment of tumor. Others’ and our studies have found that some herbal medicines can induce autophagic cell death in cancer cell models. As herbal medicines are very important recourses for drug discovery and lead compounds of anticancer drugs, we have summarized the role of autophagy in inhibitive effect of natural products in cancer cell growth and metastasis. Finally, we present summary and critical comments on problems in current autophagy study and its future prospect.
Part of the book: Cell Death
Recent studies have indicated that traditional Chinese medicines (CMs) and their active compounds play an important role in liver cancer treatment by preventing tumor formation, inhibiting tumor growth, metastasis and recurrence as well as improving the quality of life and reducing side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Mechanism studies have proved the advantage of multicomponent, multitarget and multipathway combinational regulation by CMs in liver cancer treatment. This chapter emphatically introduces the molecular mechanisms underlying liver cancer treatment by CMs. In addition, we also put forward discussion on existing obstacles and prospect of the future development on liver cancer treatment using CMs, in terms of providing a comprehensive understanding of action of CMs in liver cancer treatment.
Part of the book: Anti-cancer Drugs
Despite of the recent advances in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, cancer remains as the leading cause of death worldly with diverse causal factors regarding genes and environment. Invasion and metastasis, as one of the most important hallmarks for cancer, have restrained the successful clinical therapy and are the primary causes of death among cancer patients. So far, most chemotherapeutic drugs are not effective for metastatic cancer due to drug resistance and serious side effects. Therefore, it is urgently essential to develop more effective therapeutic methods. Owing to their diverse biological activities and low toxicity, naturally active compounds derived from Chinese medicines, as a complementary and alternative approach, are reported to promote the therapeutic index and provoked as an excellent source for candidates of anti-metastatic drugs. With the rapid development of molecular biology techniques, the molecular mechanisms of the effects of potential anti-invasive and metastatic Chinese medicines are gradually elucidated. This chapter reviews the potential anti-invasive and metastatic mechanisms of naturally active compounds from Chinese medicines, including suppression of EMT, proteases and cancer-induced angiogenesis, anoikis regulation of circulating tumor cells and regulation of miRNA-mediated gene expression, providing scientific evidence for clinically using Chinese medicines in the field of cancer therapy.
Part of the book: Unique Aspects of Anti-cancer Drug Development
Liver cancer is an international problem, especially in Asian countries. It is because that most liver cancers are already late stage when they are diagnosed, and also most liver cancers have various previous chronic liver diseases induced by alcoholic, virus, and steatosis, etc. In recent years, laboratory and clinical studies focusing on liver cancer by Chinese medicine has been extensively studied. What Chinese medicine treatment formalities can be used in liver cancer? How Chinese medicine can be employed in treatment of liver cancer? What Chinese medicine can contribute to liver cancer? To answer these questions in this chapter, we will review and discuss treatment of liver cancer from Chinese medicine’s perspective with scientific evidences as following three parts: (1) Chinese medicine as the source of discovering new treatment for liver cancer, (2) Chinese medicine as a complementary treatment of liver cancer, and (3) to discuss future research and application of Chinese medicine in liver cancer treatment.
Part of the book: Liver Cancer
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are taking up an increasingly significant role in treating cancers. There are different types of TKIs currently used in clinical settings. However, TKI-associated limitations such as resistance and adverse effects are frequently reported. In this chapter, we would comprehensively review the clinical efficacy of current TKIs using the currently available clinical trial data. Significant limitations of TKIs on cancer treatment will be further summarized and discussed. The strategies on overcoming the limitations of TKIs to maximize their clinical effectiveness and efficiency, such as complementary use of Chinese medicine or development of novel TKIs, will be proposed. In conclusion, an overall picture of the clinical use and limitation of the current TKIs will be drawn and the prospective development in overcoming the limitations will be discussed. Evaluation of clinical efficacy of TKIs, evaluation of limitations of TKIs, strategies in overcoming the limitations of TKIs, and conclusion (including prospective development of TKIs) are discussed below.
Part of the book: Tyrosine Kinases as Druggable Targets in Cancer
Macrophage polarization is a spectrum of phenotypes and generally can be classified into two states: (1) classically activated or M1 macrophages, which can be driven by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alone or in association with Th1 cytokines and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6 and, IL-12, and (2) alternatively activated M2 macrophages, which can be promoted by Th2 mediators IL-4 and IL-13 and produce anti-inflammatory cytokines such as TGF-β and IL-10. Current studies have found that the phenotypic switch between M1 and M2 macrophages governs the fate of an organ in inflammation or injury. The imbalance of M1/M2 polarization is closely involved in various pathological processes and is becoming a potential target for therapeutic strategies. Traditional Chinese medicine is an integrated healthcare system composed of many practices and is characterized by multi-target, multi-level, and coordinated intervention effects. Chinese medicines nowadays are applied to regulate phenotype polarization of macrophages to improve the microenvironment, thus ameliorating or even eliminating the symptoms. In this chapter, we will discuss the molecular mechanisms of macrophage polarization, their roles in health and disease, and the intervention with Chinese medicines to modulate the polarization of macrophages in tumor microenvironment (TME) for therapeutic purpose.
Part of the book: Macrophage Activation
Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases all over the world with poor prognosis and the development of novel therapeutic strategies is still urgently needed. The large amount of successful experiences in fighting against cancer-like diseases with Chinese medicine has suggested it as a great source of alternative treatments to human cancers. Cancer cells have been shown to own a predominantly unique metabolic phenotype to facilitate their rapid proliferation. Metabolic reprogramming is a remarkable hallmark of cancer and therapies targeting cancer metabolism can be highly specific and effective. Based on the sophisticated study of small molecule metabolites, metabolomics can provide us valuable information on dynamically metabolic responses of living systems to certain environmental condition. In this chapter, we systematically reviewed recent studies on metabolism-targeting anticancer therapies based on metabolomics in terms of glucose, lipid, amino acid, and nucleotide metabolisms and other altered metabolisms, with special emphasis on the potential of metabolic treatment with pure compounds, herb extracts, and formulations from Chinese medicines. The trends of future development of metabolism-targeting anticancer therapies were also discussed. Overall, the elucidation of the underlying molecular mechanism of metabolism-targeting pharmacologic therapies will provide us a new insight to develop novel therapeutics for cancer treatment.
Part of the book: Metabolomics
Selenium is a micronutrient that had been suggested to reduce the risk of cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a prevalent disease and one of the most lethal cancers in the world, awaits new alternative treatment strategies to improve patients’ survival. As an essential trace element, selenium has been studied for its anticancer properties in both oxidative stress and inflammatory-related mechanisms that may contribute to HCC growth and metastasis. In recent decades, increasing studies have investigated the potential role of selenium in liver cancer involving several major cancer-associated signaling pathways, metabolic pathways, and antioxidant defense systems both in vitro and in preclinical models. It was also observed that there was an increase in the trend of development of novel selenium nanoparticles and selenium-containing inhibitors aiming to improve the therapeutic efficacy and relative potency of selenium. However, controversies remain with whether a relationship exists between serum selenium level and HCC risk. This chapter aims to summarize the multi-target and multi-pathway in vitro and in vivo pharmacological effects of selenium in HCC, to provide a more comprehensive view and to highlight the recently discovered molecular mechanisms We hope this chapter could outline the correlation of selenium level and the risk of HCC in patients and discuss the clinical application of selenium in HCC prevention and treatment.
Part of the book: Importance of Selenium in the Environment and Human Health