Dietary phytochemicals target cancer stem cells for cancer chemoprevention

Dunne Fong, Marion M. Chan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Cancer is a multistep process involving genetic and epigenetic changes in the somatic genome. Genetic mutations as well as environmental factors lead to the initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer. Cancer progression ends in tumor metastasis to distant sites, and metastasis is the major reason for cancer patient deaths. Recent experimental evidence suggests the pivotal role of cancer stem cells. A tumor is heterogeneous and composed of different cell types. The cancer stem cells in the tumor have the capacity both to self-renew and differentiate to sustain the tumor. Features of cancer stem cells are described in this review, with an emphasis on the role that dietary phytochemicals may play in cancer chemoprevention. Ingredients in the diet can inhibit cancer cells and cancer stem cells. These compounds include curcumin from curry, epigallocatechin gallate from green tea, resveratrol from red wine, genistein from soy, sulforaphane from broccoli, and many others. Current research findings advocate the beneficial effects towards cancer chemoprevention via uptake of a combination of different dietary phytochemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMitochondria as Targets for Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9781461493266
ISBN (Print)9781461493259
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Chemoprevention
  • Combination therapy
  • Curcumin
  • Epigallocatechin gallate
  • Genistein
  • Phytochemicals
  • Resvertrol
  • Sulforaphane


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