A review of the anticancer and immunomodulatory effects of Lycium barbarum fruit
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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.
KeywordsAnticancer Immunomodulation Lycium barbarum fruit Traditional Chinese medicine Pharmacology Polysaccharides
This research was financially supported by the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, Shenzhen. The authors would like to thank Hoi Tin Tong (Hong Kong, China) for providing the herb and support on this project. Special thanks go to Ms. Josephine Hong-Man Leung for proofreading and providing critical comments on the manuscript.
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