Plants That Fight Cancer

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Overview

An increasing amount of cancer research is being directed towards the investigation of plant-derived anticancer compounds, many of which have been used in traditional herbal treatments for centuries. Plants that Fight Cancer is an up-to-date, extensive review of plant genera and species with documented anti-tumor and anti-leukaemic properties. Following an overview of the disease and the diverse methods of therapy and clinical testing, the book provides a detailed examination of the plants whose compounds are currently used in conventional cancer treatment, the species which show the greatest potential as future candidates, and other species with established anticancer properties. The third section explores each of more than 150 terrestrial plant genera and species, with a review of their traditional uses, mythology, botany, active ingredients, and product applications, along with photographs and illustrations and an analysis of expected results and risks. The text closes with a discussion of algal extracts and isolated metabolites with anticancer activity, a summary of published research for each species, and chemical structures of the most important compounds.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Stata Norton, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: Chemicals derived from several species of plants are currently used to treat cancer and many more plant species contain chemicals that may be useful. This book is an extensive review of plant species that have been shown by in vitro or in vivo tests to have some anticancer activity. Introductory chapters discussing cancer and plant biochemistry are included for persons not familiar with current research. Most of the book is a survey of over 150 terrestrial plants containing anticancer chemicals. Cytotoxic chemicals from marine algae are reviewed in a separate chapter. Chemical structures of the anticancer chemicals and related compounds discussed in the book are given in an appendix.
Purpose: The editors state that this book is intended as an extensive review of plant genera and species with antitumor and antileukemic properties that have been documented scientifically. It is addressed to anyone seeking information on novel opportunities for therapy of cancer. It is not intended to be an in-depth review of specific compounds, but to serve as a resource of information on anticancer agents in plants. These objectives are met in the book.
Audience: The intended audience is the lay person as well as the medical expert interested in anticancer agents in plants. The introductory chapters on current treatment of cancer and on plant anatomy and biochemistry are included for the lay audience. However, these short chapters of background information are not likely to be a sufficient introduction to the rest of the book for anyone but the expert in antitumor agents. The authors have done a commendable review of the information on plants for the expert in the field.
Features: The entry on Glycyrrhiga glabra L. is an example of the information included on each of the plants. Commonly known as licorice, this plant is widely cultivated in temperate zones. In about two pages, a summary of the botanical appearance of the plant, traditional uses, portions used, active chemical ingredients and documented action against P-388 leukemia cells is presented. Further details cover related species of plants and other medical uses of licorice. There are 19 references to the scientific literature. The chapter on marine algae or "drugs from the sea" is organized differently, with algal species and cytotoxic metabolites presented in table form. Chemical structures are included for 23 cytotoxic metabolites from chlorophyta (green algae), 56 from rhodophyta (red algae), 52 from phaeophyta (brown algae) and 60 from microalgae (including dinoflagellates, diatoms and blue-green algae).
Assessment: This book is a contribution to the literature in that it brings together information on anticancer chemicals from a large number of terrestrial and marine plants. Most of these chemicals are not currently used as chemotherapeutic agents. This compilation may be very useful in the search for new and effective anticancer agents.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415298537
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/15/2004
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

PART I: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT CANCER AND ITS THERAPY?
Incidence and Causes
Classification of Cancer Types
Therapy
Conventional Cancer Treatments
Advanced Cancer Treatments
Other Advanced Therapies
Alternative Cancer Treatments
From Source to Patient: Testing the Efficiency of a Candidate Anticancer Drug
Preclinical Tests
Phases of Clinical Trials
Clinical Trial Protocols
PART II: PLANTS AND CANCER
Brief Overview of the General Organization of the Plant Cell
The Chemical Constituents of the Plant Cell
Primary Metabolites
Secondary Metabolites
Why Do Plant Compounds Have an Anticancer Activity?
Chemical Groups of Natural Products with Anticancer Properties
Alkaloids
Polysaccharides
Glycosides
Lipids (Saponifiable)
Flavonoids
Proteins
Annonaceous Acetogenins
Terpenoids
Nucleic Acids
Lignans
Phenols and Derivatives
Aldehydes
Unsaponifiable Lipids
Unidentified Compounds
Biotechnology and the Supply Issue
PART III: TERRESTRIAL PLANT SPECIES WITH ANTICANCER ACTIVITY: A PRESENTATION
Introduction: General Botanical Issues
Species-specific Information
The Guardian Angels: Plant Species Used in Contemporary Clinical Cancer Treatment
Promising Candidates for the Future: Plant Species with a Laboratory-Proven Potential
The Fable: Where Tradition Fails to Meet Reality
Other Species with Documented Anticancer Activities
PART IV: CYTOTOXIC METABOLITES FROM MARINE ALGAE
Introduction
Cytotoxic Metabolites from Chlorophyta
Cytotoxic Metabolites from Rhodophyta
Cytotoxic Metabolites from Phaeophyta
Cytotoxic Metabolites from Microalgae
Conclusions
References
APPENDIX: CHEMICAL STRUCTURES OF SELECTED COMPOUNDS
References
Chemical Index
Species Index

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