Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 503–510 | Cite as

Nutraceutical use in late-stage cancer

  • Michael J. Wargovich
  • Jay Morris
  • Vondina Brown
  • Jane Ellis
  • Britt Logothetis
  • Rebecca Weber


Access to a wealth of information on the internet has led many cancer patients to use complementary methods as an adjunct to traditional therapy for cancer, with, and more often, without informing their primary caregiver. Of the common complementary modalities, the use of dietary supplements appears to be highly prevalent in patients in active treatment for cancer, and later in cancer survivors. Emerging research suggests that some plant-based agents may, indeed, impact late-stage cancer, influencing molecular processes corrupted by tumor cells to evade detection, expand clonally, and invade surrounding tissues. The intent of this article is to review some of the current science underpinning the use of nutraceuticals in the latter stages of cancer.


Dietary supplements Nutraceuticals Cancer treatment Metastasis 



Complementary and alternative medicine




DNA methyltransferase


Epidermal growth factor receptor


Estrogen receptor


Insulin-like growth factor




Monocyte chemoattractant protein


Matrix metalloproteinase


The reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs


Matrix metalloproteinase tissue inhibitor


Vascular endothelial growth factor



This publication was supported in part by grant R01CA96694 from the National Cancer Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Wargovich
    • 1
  • Jay Morris
    • 1
  • Vondina Brown
    • 1
  • Jane Ellis
    • 2
  • Britt Logothetis
    • 3
  • Rebecca Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell & Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsHollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyPresbyterian CollegeClintonUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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