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
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