, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 125-147

Dietary chalcones with chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential

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Abstract

Chalcones are absorbed in the daily diet and appear to be promising cancer chemopreventive agents. Chalcones represent an important group of the polyphenolic family, which includes a large number of naturally occurring molecules. This family possesses an interesting spectrum of biological activities, including antioxidative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, cytotoxic, and immunosuppressive potential. Compounds of this family have been shown to interfere with each step of carcinogenesis, including initiation, promotion and progression. Moreover, numerous compounds from the family of dietary chalcones appear to show activity against cancer cells, suggesting that these molecules or their derivatives may be considered as potential anticancer drugs. This review will focus primarily on prominent members of the chalcone family with an 1,3-diphenyl-2-propenon core structure. Specifically, the inhibitory effects of these compounds on the different steps of carcinogenesis that reveal interesting chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential will be discussed.