Autophagy-associated Targeting Pathways of Natural Products during Cancer Treatment

  • Zhang, Shu-Fang (Graduate School, Wuhan Sports University) ;
  • Wang, Xiao-Lu (College of Sports Science and Technology, Wuhan Sports University) ;
  • Yang, Xiao-Qi (Graduate School, Wuhan Sports University) ;
  • Chen, Ning (College of Health Science, Hubei Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for Exercise, Intervention and Health Promotion, Wuhan Sports University)
  • Published : 2015.01.22


It is well known that conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy can result in toxicity to both normal cells and tumor cells, which causes limitations in the application of these therapeutic strategies for cancer control. Novel and effective therapeutic strategies for cancers with no or low toxicity for normal cells are a high priority. Therefore, natural products with anticancer activity have gained more and more attention due to their favorable safety and efficacy profiles. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that several representative natural compounds such as resveratrol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, curcumin, allicin and ginsenosides have obvious anticancer potential. In this article, we summarize autophagy-associated targeting pathways of such natural products for inducing the death of cancer cells, and discuss the core autophagic pathways involved in cancer treatments. Recent advances in the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of natural compounds as therapeutic agents for cancers will provide references and support in pre-clinical and clinical application of novel natural drugs for the treatment of primary and metastatic tumors in the future.


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