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
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