Chemoprevention is based on the use of non-toxic, pharmacologically active agents
to prevent tumor progression. In this regard, natural dietary agents have been described by the
most recent literature as promising tools for controlling onset and progression of
malignancies. Extensive research has been so far performed to shed light on the effects of
natural products on tumor growth and survival, disclosing the most relevant signal
transduction pathways targeted by such compounds. Overall, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant
and cytotoxic effects of dietary agents on tumor cells are supported either by results from
epidemiological or animal studies and even by clinical trials.
Multiple myeloma is a hematologic malignancy characterized by abnormal proliferation of
bone marrow plasma cells and subsequent hypercalcemia, renal dysfunction, anemia, or bone
disease, which remains incurable despite novel emerging therapeutic strategies. Notably,
increasing evidence supports the capability of dietary natural compounds to antagonize
multiple myeloma growth in preclinical models of the disease, underscoring their potential as
candidate anti-cancer agents.
In this review, we aim at summarizing findings on the anti-tumor activity of dietary natural
products, focusing on their molecular mechanisms, which include inhibition of oncogenic
signal transduction pathways and/or epigenetic modulating effects, along with their potential
clinical applications against multiple myeloma and its related bone disease.