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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2015, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 142-164.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60171-6

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Chinese medicines for prevention and treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma: Current progress on pharmacological actions and mechanisms

Xuanbin Wanga,b, Ning Wanga, Fan Cheunga, Lixing Laoa, Charlie Lic, Yibin Fenga   

  1. a School of Chinese Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
    b Laboratory of Chinese Herbal Pharmacology, Renmin Hospital; Hubei Key Laboratory of Wudang Local Chinese Medicine Research, School of Pharmacy; Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan 442000, Hubei Province, China
    c California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
  • Received:2014-12-29 Accepted:2015-01-27 Online:2015-05-10 Published:2015-05-15

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of leading causes of death in the world. Although various treatments have been developed, the therapeutic side effects are far from desirable. Chinese medicines (CMs, including plants, animal parts and minerals) have drawn a great deal of attention in recent years for their potential in the treatment of HCC. Most studies have shown that CMs may be able to retard HCC progression with multiple actions, either alone or in combination with other conventional therapies to improve quality of life in HCC patients. Additionally, CMs are used for preventing HCC occurrence. The aim of this study is to review the potential prophylactic and curative effects of CMs on human HCC and the possible mechanisms that underlie these pharmacological actions. Publications were collected and reviewed from PubMed and China National Knowledge Infrastructure from 2000 to 2014. Keywords for literature searches include “Chinese medicine”, “Chinese herb”, “traditional Chinese Medicine”, “hepatocellular carcinoma” and “liver cancer”. CMs in forms of pure compounds, isolated fractions, and composite formulas are included. Combination therapies are also considered. Both in vitro and in vivo efficacies of CMs are being discussed and the translational potential to bedside is to be discussed with clinical cases, which show the actions of CMs on HCC may include tumor growth inhibition, antimetastatic activities, anti-inflammation, anti-liver cancer stem cells, reversal on multi-drug resistance and induction/reduction of oxidative stress. Multiple types of molecules are found to contribute in the above actions. The review paper indicated that CMs might have potential to both prevent HCC occurrence and retard HCC progression with several molecular targets involved.

Key words: Medicine, Chinese traditional, Liver neoplasms, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Recurrence, Disease treating &, preventing, Molecular targets, Review

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