Journal Article

Tocotrienol as a potential anticancer agent

Ming T. Ling, Sze U. Luk, Fares Al-Ejeh and Kum K. Khanna

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 33, issue 2, pages 233-239
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgr261
Tocotrienol as a potential anticancer agent

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Vitamin E is composed of two structurally similar compounds: tocopherols (TPs) and tocotrienols (T3). Despite being overshadowed by TP over the past few decades, T3 is now considered to be a promising anticancer agent due to its potent effects against a wide range of cancers. A growing body of evidence suggests that in addition to its antioxidative and pro-apoptotic functions, T3 possesses a number of anticancer properties that make it superior to TP. These include the inhibition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions, the suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor tumor angiogenic pathway and the induction of antitumor immunity. More recently, T3, but not TP, has been shown to have chemosensitization and anti-cancer stem cell effects, further demonstrating the potential of T3 as an effective anticancer therapeutic agent. With most of the previous clinical studies on TP producing disappointing results, research has now focused on testing T3 as the next generation vitamin E for chemoprevention and cancer treatment. This review will summarize recent developments in the understanding of the anticancer effects of T3. We will also discuss current progress in clinical trials involving T3 as an adjuvant to conventional cancer therapy.

Journal Article.  5638 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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