Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children under 15 years of age as well as the most common blood cancer in people older than 55. The use of all trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in combination with arsenic trioxide (ATO) for acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) respectively, have improved survival rates. However, new, natural therapies are constantly being sought after to overcome issues with resistance, side effects and specificity. As a result of their range of health benefits, including anticancer properties, phenolic compounds have been extensively studied over the past two decades. One on hand, in vitro and in vivo studies highlight both the inhibitory as well as differentiation inducing effects of phenolics on different leukaemia types. On the other hand, clinical trials to date have shown their beneficial effects (decrease in the absolute lymphocyte count and lymphadenopathy) in CLL (Chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia) patients. Promising therapeutic candidates for future use include epigallocatechin-3-gallate, coumarin, and gallic acid, with the latter ideally used in combination with the conventional drugs daunorubicin and cytarabine.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds