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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (3): 196-202.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.02.002

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Traditional chinese medicine targeting cancer stem cells as an alternative treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma

Kai-yue Tanga, Shi-lin Dub, Qian-lei Wanga, Yi-fan Zhanga, Hai-yan Songa,c   

  1. a Institute of Digestive Diseases, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    b Department of Emergency, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
    c China-Canada Centre of Research for Digestive Diseases, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2019-10-10 Accepted:2020-01-06 Online:2020-05-08 Published:2020-02-07
  • Contact: Hai-yan Song E-mail:songhy@126.com

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prevalent and highly malignant cancer throughout the world. Effective treatment of this disease is impeded by the high rate of metastasis, recurrence, and chemoresistance. Recent studies have revealed the close relationship between the malignant phenotype of HCC and cancer stem cells (CSCs). Therefore, CSC-targeted therapy is considered a promising strategy to eradicate HCC. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be effective in preventing recurrence and metastasis of some advanced HCC. A growing amount of literature has discovered that extracts or compounds derived from TCM exert an anti-CSC effect. This review introduces some formulas and chemical compounds derived from TCMs that have been reported to inhibit CSCs of HCC; these TCM-related drugs may help to provide an alternative approach to help manage cancers, especially for HCC which has a great potential of metastasis, recurrence, and chemoresistance.

Key words: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Cancer stem cell, Traditional Chinese medicine

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