Nagi B. Kumar and Ganna Chornokur
In spite of the large number of botanicals demonstrating promise as potential cancer chemopreventive agents, most have failed to prove effectiveness in clinical trials. Critical requirements for moving botanical agents to recommendation for clinical use include adopting a systematic, molecular-target based approach and utilizing the same ethical and rigorous methods that are used to evaluate other pharmacological agents. Preliminary data on a mechanistic rationale for chemoprevention activity as observed from epidemiological, in vitro and preclinical studies, phase I data of safety in suitable cohorts, duration of intervention based on time to progression of pre-neoplastic disease to cancer and using a valid panel of biomarkers representing the hypothesized carcinogenesis pathway for measuring efficacy must inform the design of clinical trials. Botanicals have been shown to influence multiple biochemical and molecular cascades that inhibit mutagenesis, proliferation, induce apoptosis, suppress the formation
and growth of human cancers, thus modulating several hallmarks of carcinogenesis. These agents appear promising in their potential to make a dramatic impact in cancer prevention and treatment, with a significantly superior safety profile than most agents evaluated to date. The goal of this paper is to provide models of translational research based on the current evidence of promising botanicals with a specific focus on targeted therapies for PCa chemoprevention.