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Minerva Biotecnologica 2005 September;17(3):183-91


language: English

Anti-cancer potential of traditional Chinese herbal medicines and microbial fermentation products

Chui C. H. 1, 2, Gambari R. 3, Lau F. Y. 2, Teo I. T. N. 1, Ho K. P. 1, Cheng G. Y. M. 2, Ke B. 4, Higa T. 5, Kok H. L. 1, Chan A. S. C. 1, Tang J. C. O. 1

1 Anti-cancer Research Center, State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, Shenzhen, China, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China; 2 Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, China; 3 ER-GenTech, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Section of Molecular Biology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; 4 EM Research Organization, Okinawa, Japan; 5 Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Japan

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The uses of traditional Chinese herbal medicines (TCHM) in forms of extracts for anti-cancer purpose have been practiced in China since 3,000 B.C. However, most of the TCHMs that have been claimed to possess anti-cancer potential are still not experimentally proved and/or the underlying mechanistic actions were not defined. Recently, we have reported the principal mechanisms involved in the anomalous fruit extract of Gleditsia sinensis Lam (GSE) induced cancer cell death. Furthermore, we also continued our study on three other TCHMs including the fresh juice of Scutellaria barbata (SBJ) and warmed water extract of Radix Sophorae Tonkinensis (RSTE) (Sophora subprostrata C. et T. C) and Brucea javanica (BJE) (Fructus bruceae). On the other hand, we have also investigated the possible use of microbial fermentation products in the forms of either dried biomass (Phaffia rhodozyma) or fermented extract (effective micro-organism fermentation extract, EM-X). Taken together, we believe that the accumulation of experimental and clinical evidences could further sustain the scientific base for the clinical use of both TCHMs and microbial fermentation products in the foreseeing future.

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