Jayanti Mukherjee*, Anand Patidar, Giriraj Kulkarni
Cancer is one of the most challenging health problems in the entire world today. It is a complex disease to treat. Conventional cancer therapies evoke severe side effects and in many cases, patients recover from cancer and die due to organ failure and immunosuppression. To redress these anomalies recourse to phytochemicals is advocated. The induction of apoptosis in a neoplastic cell line without affecting normal cells of the body is a key to the use of phytochemicals (chemopreventive agents) which perform a vital function in the battle against cancer. These chemopreventive agents inhibit, retard or reverse multi-stages of carcinogenesis via their anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties and also suppress cancer proliferation through induction and stimulation of cell growth. Research has shown that they exert these abilities by counteracting certain signals that cause genotoxic damage and reduction-oxidation imbalance in cells. This discourse reviews the role of phytochemical chemopreventive agents, benefits and limitations associated with their use in cancer prevention.
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