The chapter includes a brief presentation of the types of skin cancer. The most aggressive type of skin cancer, melanoma, is discussed from the point of view of incidence, molecular, and immunohistochemical mechanism along with the most important biomarkers for identification. Recent studies containing active phytocompounds with chemopreventive activity pointing toward phytochemicals used for melanoma prevention and therapy are reviewed. Modern physicochemical formulations for the enhancement of bioavailability of some active phytochemicals with chemopreventive activity for malignant melanoma are discussed.
Part of the book: Natural Products and Cancer Drug Discovery
Isoflavones are a class of plant secondary metabolites, with an estrogen‐like structure presenting a plethora of biological activities. The chapter discusses important facts about this class of phytoestrogens, from biosynthesis to the latest research about their health benefits. The following major points discussed are: biosynthesis, regulation, isolation, metabolism and bioavailability, isoflavones in diet and intake, and new insights regarding the therapeutic effect including cancer chemoprevention. The chapter ends with a mini review of own research of the anti‐inflammatory and chemopreventive activity of isoflavonoid genistein alone and incorporated in modern pharmaceutical formulations. The chapter updates the interested researchers in the field with the latest progress regarding potential health benefits of isoflavones.
Part of the book: Flavonoids
Skin cancer is an increasingly frequent pathology, with a dangerous high percentage of malignant melanoma. The use of synthetic chemotherapy raises the problem of severe adverse effects and the development of resistance to treatment. Therefore, the use of natural therapies became the focus of numerous research groups due to their high efficacy and lower systemic adverse effects. Among natural products evaluated as therapeutical agents against skin cancer, betulinic acid was emphasized as a highly selective anti-melanoma agent and is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials as topical application. Several other pentacyclic triterpenes exhibit antiproliferative activities. This chapter aims to present the latest main discoveries in the class of pentacyclic triterenes with antitumor effect and the evolution of their preclinical trials. Furthermore, it includes reports on plant sources containing pentacyclic triterpenes, as well as the main possibilities of their water solubilization and cancer cell targeting. A review on recent data regarding mechanisms of action at cellular and molecular levels complements information on the outstanding medicinal potential of these compounds.
Part of the book: Unique Aspects of Anti-cancer Drug Development
The broad area of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (M-IONP) applications and their exclusive physico-chemical characteristics (superparamagnetic properties per se, solubility and stability in aqueous solutions, and high bioavailability in vivo) make these nanoparticles suitable candidates for biomedical uses. The most employed magnetic iron oxides in the biomedical field are magnetite and maghemite. Cancer represents a complex pathology that implies multiple mechanisms and signaling pathways, this complexity being responsible for the increased resistance to therapy and the lack of an effective curative treatment. A potential useful alternative was considered to be the use of magnetic iron nanoparticles. The M-IONPs proved to be effective as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging, as drug delivery carriers for different therapeutic agents, in magnetic cell separation assays, and are suitable to be engineered in terms of size, targeted delivery and substance release. Moreover, their in vivo administration was considered safe, and recent studies indicated their efficiency as anticancer agents. This chapter aims to furnish an overview regarding the physico-chemical properties of M-IONPs (mainly magnetite, maghemite and hematite), the synthesis methods and their in vitro biological impact on healthy and cancer cell lines, by describing their potential mechanism of action—enucleation, apoptosis or other mechanisms.
Part of the book: Iron Ores and Iron Oxide Materials