Phytochemicals are the promising tools towards drug-resistant cancers

Muhammad Torequl Islam, Mohammad Ashab Uddin


Cancer cells rapidly acquire drug (single/multi) resistance. In this regard, continuous efforts are necessary to better understand the drug resistance mechanisms along with or aiming to boost of discovery of sufficient and new anticancer drugs. Plants have been found one of the pioneer sources of modern medicines. This review reports on potential phytochemicals acting against drug resistant cancer cells. A search was made in the scientific databases such as PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar for published articles to date (December 2016) with a number of keywords covering phytochemicals or their derivatives and preparations acting against chemoresistant cancer cells. The results suggest that, a number of phytochemicals and their derivatives or preparations have been found to show sensitivity towards various drug resistant cancer cells under the main molecular mechanisms: oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis and anti-proliferative effects. Some of them were also seen to act via adenosine triphosphate binding cassette transporters, epidermal growth factor receptor, tumor suppressor protein p53, and topoisomerase dependent pathways. In conclusion, phytochemicals may be one of the promising therapeutic candidates in the treatment of chemo-resistant cancers.


cancer cells; drug resistance; phytochemicals; resistance reversal activity.

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