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      Phytochemicals in Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment: An Updated Review


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          Skin is the largest human organ, our protection against various environmental assaults and noxious agents. Accumulation of these stress events may lead to the formation of skin cancers, including both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Although modern targeted therapies have ameliorated the management of cutaneous malignancies, a safer, more affordable, and more effective strategy for chemoprevention and treatment is clearly needed for the improvement of skin cancer care. Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds derived from plants and herbal products. These agents appear to be beneficial in the battle against cancer as they exert anti-carcinogenic effects and are widely available, highly tolerated, and cost-effective. Evidence has indicated that the anti-carcinogenic properties of phytochemicals are due to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-angiogenic effects. In this review, we discuss the preventive potential, therapeutic effects, bioavailability, and structure–activity relationship of these selected phytochemicals for the management of skin cancers. The knowledge compiled here will provide clues for future investigations on novel oncostatic phytochemicals and additional anti-skin cancer mechanisms.

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          Most cited references 153

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          Distribution and Biological Activities of the Flavonoid Luteolin

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            Resveratrol inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription and activity in phorbol ester-treated human mammary epithelial cells.

            We determined whether resveratrol, a phenolic antioxidant found in grapes and other food products, inhibited phorbol ester (PMA)-mediated induction of COX-2 in human mammary and oral epithelial cells. Treatment of cells with PMA induces COX-2 and causes a marked increase in the production of prostaglandin E2. These effects were inhibited by resveratrol. Resveratrol suppressed PMA-mediated increases in COX-2 mRNA and protein. Nuclear run-offs revealed increased rates of COX-2 transcription after treatment with PMA, an effect that was inhibited by resveratrol. PMA caused about a 6-fold increase in COX-2 promoter activity, which was suppressed by resveratrol. Transient transfections utilizing COX-2 promoter deletion constructs and COX-2 promoter constructs, in which specific enhancer elements were mutagenized, indicated that the effects of PMA and resveratrol were mediated via a cyclic AMP response element. Resveratrol inhibited PMA-mediated activation of protein kinase C. Overexpressing protein kinase C-alpha, ERK1, and c-Jun led to 4.7-, 5.1-, and 4-fold increases in COX-2 promoter activity, respectively. These effects also were inhibited by resveratrol. Resveratrol blocked PMA-dependent activation of AP-1-mediated gene expression. In addition to the above effects on gene expression, we found that resveratrol also directly inhibited the activity of COX-2. These data are likely to be important for understanding the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol.
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              Role of angiogenesis in human tumor dormancy: animal models of the angiogenic switch.

              Tumor progression depends on sequential events, including a switch to the angiogenic phenotype (i.e., initial recruitment of blood vessels). Failure of a microscopic tumor to complete one or more early steps in this process may lead to delayed clinical manifestation of the cancer. Microscopic human cancers can remain in an asymptomatic, non-detectable, and occult state for the life of a person. Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that human tumors can persist for long periods of time as microscopic lesions that are in a state of dormancy (i.e., not expanding in tumor mass). Because it is well established that tumor growth beyond the size of 1-2 mm is angiogenesis-dependent, we hypothesized that presentation of large tumors is attributed to a switch to the angiogenic phenotype in otherwise microscopic, dormant tumors. Although clinically important, the biology of human tumor dormancy is poorly understood. The development of animal models which recapitulate the clinically observed timing and proportion of dormant tumors which switch to the angiogenic phenotype are reviewed here. The contributing molecular mechanisms involved in the angiogenic switch and different strategies for isolation of both angiogenic and non-angiogenic tumor cell populations from otherwise heterogeneous human tumor cell lines or surgical specimens are also summarized. Several imaging techniques have been utilized for the qualitative and quantitative detection of microscopic tumors in mice and their strengths and limitations are discussed. The animal models employed here permitted further studies of the angiogenic switch. These models also allowed development of an angiogenesis-based panel of blood and urine biomarkers that can be quantified and used to detect microscopic tumors before or during the angiogenic switch. If the information obtained from these animal models is translatable to the clinic, it may be possible in the future to liberate the management of cancer from a dependency on anatomical site years before it becomes symptomatic and detectable.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                22 March 2018
                April 2018
                : 19
                : 4
                [1 ]Department of Dermatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taipei, and Keelung 105, Taiwan; charlene870811@ 123456gmail.com (C.Y.N.); hsi.k.yen@ 123456gmail.com (H.Y.); ssu1@ 123456cgmh.org.tw (S.-C.S.)
                [2 ]Drug Hypersensitivity Clinical and Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taipei, and Keelung 105, Taiwan
                [3 ]School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
                [4 ]Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
                [5 ]Center for Tissue Engineering, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
                [6 ]Whole-Genome Research Core Laboratory of Human Diseases, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung 204, Taiwan
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: ivyhsiao@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +886-3-328-1200-2509

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Molecular biology

                phytomedicine, skin cancer, chemoprevention


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