Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) for Molecular Targeted Therapies of Tumours
Mahmoud Youns, Jorg D. Hoheisel and Thomas Efferth
Affiliation: Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Mainz, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany.
Scientific progress in genetics, cell and molecular biology has greatly ameliorated our comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation and progression. The rapidly advancing identification of molecular targets in human cancers during the last decade has provided an excellent starting point for the development of novel therapeutics. A huge variety of potential molecular targets have been identified, many of which are already in the market for therapeutic purposes. It is now becoming possible to target pathways and/or molecules that are crucial in maintaining the malignant phenotype. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is often considered as alternative or complementary medicine. TCM represents a holistic approach and lacks high-quality scientific evidence on its effectiveness. Therefore, it is frequently regarded with some scepticism by western academic medicine. In this review, we report that application of modern technologies allowed identification of novel molecular targets modulating the anti-tumour activity of natural products derived from TCM. Moreover, we tried to cross the bridge between TCM and Western modern medicine to be able to implement them for the sake of cancer patients.
Keywords: TCM, tumour, artesunate, berberine, cantharidin, arsenic trioxide, curcumin
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