1st Edition

Active Phytochemicals from Chinese Herbal Medicines Anti-Cancer Activities and Mechanisms

By Wing Shing Ho Copyright 2016
    by CRC Press

    178 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

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    Biomedical Science

    Chinese herbal medicine represents complementary or adjunctive therapies that often can improve the efficacy of Western medicine to achieve the pharmacological effects, especially in cancer treatment. However, the combination of herbs with therapeutic drugs can raise potential health risk. Building a bridge between Western medicine and herbal medicines, Active Phytochemicals from Chinese Herbal Medicines: Anti-Cancer Activities and Mechanisms gives you useful information on how integrated medicines can work for cancer therapy. It discusses the therapeutic uses of phytochemicals, adverse effects, and interactions with (Western) cancer drugs.

    The author takes a unique approach to integrated pharmacology of herbal medicines, examining the development of phytochemicals and their mechanisms of action in the context of the cancers and diseases they are used to treat. He covers biologic action of the active phytochemicals at the molecular, cellular, and organ levels. The book covers the principles of the interaction of phytochemicals and the related drug actions. It also addresses the common pathways affecting cancer development before discussing the phytochemical classes and specific phytochemicals that have been recently reported in journal papers for the management of cancer and other diseases.

    Highlighting the increasingly important aspects of pharmacology, including health benefit and drawbacks of phytochemicals, the book presents the relevant background of the biochemistry of the cancer. It includes illustrations and tables with adverse reactions that highlight important issues related to phytochemical actions. These features and more make the book a useful reference on phytochemicals obtained from herbal medicines. It blends coverage of fundamental mechanisms of anti-cancer action and the use of phytochemicals to manage cancers and other human diseases, allowing you to explore how herbal medicines can enhance conventional protocols.

    Overview: General Principles
    Combination of Cancer Drugs
    Plant-Derived Active Phytochemicals Show Various Biologic and Pharmacological Activities in Cancer
    Therapeutic Benefits of Phytochemicals
    Mechanism of Cancer Drug Action
    Inhibition of Cancer Growth by Herbal Medicines
    Herbal Formulations in Folk Medicine
    Exploration of Herbal Medicine
    List of Selected Phytochemicals


    Dr. Wing Shing Ho, PhD, is associate professor of the biochemistry programme of School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. He earned his BS in biochemistry (1979) from the University of Alberta and MA in chemistry (1982) and PhD in biological chemistry (1985) from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After completing a postdoctoral training in the Pediatrics Department at SUNYAB, he moved to the Department of Chemistry of the University of Utah as a postdoc investigating the methodology of isolation and purification of DNA and subsequently moved to the Center for Human Toxicology of the University of Utah as a research associate investigating the role of hepatic toxicants on liver metabolism in lab animals. In 1994, Dr. Ho was appointed lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and, in 2005, he was appointed associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and became an instrumental part of the toxicology programme in the School of Life Sciences.

    Dr. Ho holds memberships in several professional associations, including the United States Society of Toxicology, the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Institute of Chemists (fellow), and the Protein Society. He has been appointed a consultant scientist by professional groups and the local government, including Government Secretariat Home Affairs Bureau and the HK Chemical Waste Association.

    Dr. Ho’s work has been supported in part by the university research grants from the Hong Kong Higher Education and Innovation and Technology Commission and the Croucher foundation. He has received awards from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for students’ papers.

    Dr. Ho has authored and coauthored approximately 100 papers and proceedings in peer-reviewed international journals and hold patents on herbal medicines. He has contributed original data to Protein Data Bank (PDB) and has applied for patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for anticancer agents in the United States. He lectures regularly to toxicology, college undergraduate, and graduate students. Dr. Ho continues to perform fundamental research on the cytotoxic effects of environmental and food chemicals and the development of therapeutic agents on cultured human cells and animal models.

    With a focus on cancer therapy, this book explores the ways in which conventional treatments can be combined with traditional Chinese herbal extracts to produce better outcomes. This is an innovative approach, as most accounts focus on one or other aspect. Chapters on combination drugs and plant-derived compounds known to be active against cancer are accompanied by others on the therapeutic benefits of phytochemicals, the mechanisms of cancer drug actions, and the ways in which they inhibit cancer growth.

    The book also covers other areas such as the treatment and prevention of dementia; eight plant extracts are listed as showing promising effects either for cognitive symptoms, behavioural and psychological symptoms, or for cholinesterase inhibition.

    Although this book is aimed primarily at research-level pharmacists, it also serves as a useful introduction to Chinese traditional medicine for a western audience including medical students. Each chapter has a full list of references, including many by Chinese authors, and the appendix contains a list of selected phytochemicals along with their chemical formulae.

    - John Edmondson, Chromatographia, Volume 82, Issue 2