Despite tremendous research efforts for effective therapies, cancer remains the plague of the century
and its burden is expected to increase worldwide in the near future. Metabolic reprogramming is a firmly established
hallmark of all cancers, regardless of their cellular or tissue origin, being a prerequisite for both tumor
growth and invasion. Functional dependence of tumors on glycolysis and glutaminolysis and the crucial contribution
of mitochondria to the tumor bioenergetic versatility are well recognized features and established therapeutic
targets. The complex landscape of tumor metabolism in the context of the dynamic, bidirectional crosstalk
with its stromal environment is a rapidly evolving field that increasingly supports the view of cancer both as
metabolic disease and a disease of impaired cellular 'communication'. Many of the approved anticancer drugs
are derived from natural sources and the search of novel drug candidates is still a priority view the rapid development
of chemoresistance. Phytochemicals are biologically active plant compounds with preventive and/or
curative anticancer properties able to potentiate the effects of standard therapies while decreasing their toxicity
via multitarget modulatory effects. The present mini-review will briefly summarize the hallmarks of metabolic
reprogramming in tumor cells and the phytochemicals that have been reported to modulate the dysregulated
metabolism of tumor and its environment, with special emphasis on triterpenes.
Keywords: Cancer, metabolic reprogramming, phytochemicals, triterpenes, cancer metabolism, chemoresistance.
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