Published online Jul 27, 2011. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i7.175
Revised: May 6, 2011
Accepted: May 13, 2011
Published online: July 27, 2011
In this review we outline the different mechanisms mediating hepatocarcinogenesis. We also discuss possible targets of bioactive herbal agents at different stages of hepatocarcinogenesis and highlight their role at each individual stage. We gathered information on the most common herbal prescriptions and extracts thought to be useful in prevention or sensitization for chemotherapy in management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The value of this topic may seem questionable compared to the promise offered for HCC management by chemotherapy and radiation. However, we would recommend the use of herbal preparations not as alternatives to common chemo /and or radiotherapy, but rather for prevention among at-risk individuals, given that drug/herb interactions are still in need of extensive clarification. The bioactive constituents of various herbs seem to be promising targets for isolation, cancer activity screening and clinical evaluation. Finally, herbal preparations may offer a cost effective protective alternative to individuals known to have a high risk for HCC and possibly other cancers, through maintaining cell integrity, reversing oxidative stress and modulating different molecular pathways in preventing carcinogenesis.