The use of natural compounds for the targeting and chemoprevention of ovarian cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2017 Dec 28 ;411:191-200. Epub 2017 Oct 7. PMID: 29017913
Among gynaecological cancers, ovarian cancer represents the leading cause of death in women. Current treatment for ovarian cancer entails surgery followed by combined chemotherapy with platinum and taxane, which are associated, particularly cisplatin, with severe side effects. While this treatment approach appears to be initially effective in a high number of patients, nearly 70% of them suffer a relapse within a few months after initial treatment. Therefore, more effective and better-tolerated treatment options are clearly needed. In recent years, several natural compounds (such as curcumin, epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, sulforaphane and Withaferin-A), characterized by long-term safety and negligible and/or inexistent side effects, have been proposed as possible adjuvants of traditional chemotherapy. Indeed, several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that phytocompounds can effectively inhibit tumor cell proliferation, stimulate autophagy, induce apoptosis, and specifically target ovarian cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are generally considered to be responsible for tumor recurrence in several types of cancer. Here we review current literature on the role of natural products in ovarian cancer chemoprevention, highlighting their effects particularly on the regulation of inflammation, autophagy, proliferation and apoptosis, chemotherapy resistance, and ovarian CSC growth.