Phytomedicine polypharmacology: Cancer therapy through modulating the tumor microenvironment and oxylipin dynamics

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Integrative approaches in cancer therapy have recently been extended beyond the induction of cytotoxicity to controlling the tumor microenvironment and modulating inflammatory cascades and pathways such as lipid mediator biosynthesis and their dynamics. Profiling of important lipid messengers, such as oxylipins, produced as part of the physiological response to pharmacological stimuli, provides a unique opportunity to explore drug pharmacology and the possibilities for molecular management of cancer physiopathology. Whereas single targeted chemotherapeutic drugs commonly lack efficacy and invoke drug resistance and/or adverse effects in cancer patients, traditional herbal medicines are seen as bright prospects for treating complex diseases, such as cancers, in a systematic and holistic manner. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of traditional medicine and its bioactive chemical constituents may aid the modernization of herbal remedies and the discovery of novel phytoagents for cancer management. In this review, systems-based polypharmacology and studies to develop multi-target drugs or leads from phytomedicines and their derived natural products that may overcome the problems of current anti-cancer drugs, are proposed and summarized.

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