1 State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, University of Macau, Av. Padre Toma's Pereira S.J., Taipa, Macao SAR, China 2 Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Av. Padre Toma's Pereira S.J., Taipa, Macao SAR, China 3 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, 548 Binwen Rd., Binjiang Dist., Hangzhou 310053, Zhejiang, China 4 College of Pharmacy, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No.1 Huatuo Rd., Shangjie University Town, Fuzhou 350108, Fujian, China
Abstract In recent years, a number of natural products isolated from Chinese herbs have been found to inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis, suppress angiogenesis, retard metastasis and enhance chemotherapy, exhibiting anti-cancer potential both in vitro and in vivo. This article summarizes recent advances in in vitro and in vivo research on the anti-cancer effects and related mechanisms of some promising natural products. These natural products are also reviewed for their therapeutic potentials, including flavonoids (gambogic acid, curcumin, wogonin and silibinin), alkaloids (berberine), terpenes (artemisinin, β-elemene, oridonin, triptolide, and ursolic acid), quinones (shikonin and emodin) and saponins (ginsenoside Rg3), which are isolated from Chinese medicinal herbs. In particular, the discovery of the new use of artemisinin derivatives as excellent anti-cancer drugs is also reviewed.
Conclusion Natural products such as GA, curcumin, β-elemene et al. derived from Chinese medicinal herbs are potential candidates for anti-cancer therapeutic drugs.
Scientific Evidence on the Supportive Cancer Care with Chinese Medicine
By William CS CHO Department of Clinical Oncology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong SAR
Abstract Complementary and alternative medicine has been increasingly utilized by cancer patients in developed countries. Among the various forms of complementary and alternative medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the few that has a well constructed theoretical framework and established treatment approaches for diseases including cancer. Recent research has revealed growing evidence suggesting that Traditional Chinese Medicine is effective in the supportive care of cancer patients during and after major conventional cancer treatments. This paper succinctly summarizes some published clinical evidence and meta-analyses which support the usage of various Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment strategies including Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and Qigong in supportive cancer care.
Conclusion Further well-designed RCTs of CHM, acupuncture and Qigong with or without conventional therapy in cancer patients are needed to provide definitive scientific evidence to determine the optimal doses, duration and timing of their interventions that will optimize cancer patients’ immunologic function, reduce tumor burden, improve QoL and prolong survival while minimizing the side effects (such as anorexia, fatigue, nausea and vomiting) of major conventional treatments[ 44