Review

Inflammopharmacology

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 307-314

First online:

A review of the anticancer and immunomodulatory effects of Lycium barbarum fruit

  • Wai-Man TangAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Enoch ChanAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Ching-Yee KwokAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Yee-Ki LeeAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Jian-Hong WuAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Chun-Wai WanAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Robbie Yat-Kan ChanAffiliated withDivision of Science and Technology, Programme of Food Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College
  • , Peter Hoi-Fu YuAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityState Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • , Shun-Wan ChanAffiliated withFood Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityState Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Email author 

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Abstract

The anticancer effects of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have attracted the attention of the public vis-à-vis existing cancer therapies with various side effects. Lycium barbarum fruit, commonly known as Gou Qi Zi in China, is a potential anticancer agent/adjuvant. Its major active ingredients, L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), scopoletin and 2-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-l-ascorbic acid (AA-2βG), are found to have apoptotic and antiproliferative effects on cancer cell lines. Moreover, LBP also contributes to body’s immunomodulatory effects and enhances effects of other cancer therapies. It is not known whether there are any undesirable effects. Further studies on its pharmacological mechanisms and toxicology could facilitate a safe usage of this TCM herb.

Keywords

Anticancer Immunomodulation Lycium barbarum fruit Traditional Chinese medicine Pharmacology Polysaccharides