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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1490738, 14 pages
Review Article

Synergistic Effect and Molecular Mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Regulating Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Cells

1Department of Oncology, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 5 Beixiange, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China
2Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 11 North Third Ring Road East, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
3China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 16 Nanxiaojie Dongzhimennei, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100700, China

Received 25 December 2015; Accepted 26 January 2016

Academic Editor: Kallesh D. Jayappa

Copyright © 2016 Jingnan Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The interaction of tumor cells with the microenvironment is like a relationship between the “seeds” and “soil,” which is a hotspot in recent cancer research. Targeting at tumor microenvironment as well as tumor cells has become a new strategy for cancer treatment. Conventional cancer treatments mostly focused on single targets or single mechanism (the seeds or part of the soil); few researches intervened in the whole tumor microenvironment and achieved ideal therapeutic effect as expected. Traditional Chinese medicine displays a broad range of biological effects, and increasing evidence has shown that it may relate with synergistic effect on regulating tumor microenvironment and cancer cells. Based on literature review and our previous studies, we summarize the synergistic effect and the molecular mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine on regulating tumor microenvironment and cancer cells.