Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 282570, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/282570
Review Article

Chemotherapy and Dietary Phytochemical Agents

NGO Praeventio, Näituse 22-3, 50407 Tartu, Estonia

Received 8 October 2012; Revised 23 November 2012; Accepted 29 November 2012

Academic Editor: G. J. Peters

Copyright © 2012 Katrin Sak. 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.

Abstract

Chemotherapy has been used for cancer treatment already for almost 70 years by targeting the proliferation potential and metastasising ability of tumour cells. Despite the progress made in the development of potent chemotherapy drugs, their toxicity to normal tissues and adverse side effects in multiple organ systems as well as drug resistance have remained the major obstacles for the successful clinical use. Cytotoxic agents decrease considerably the quality of life of cancer patients manifesting as acute complaints and impacting the life of survivors also for years after the treatment. Toxicity often limits the usefulness of anticancer agents being also the reason why many patients discontinue the treatment. The nutritional approach may be the means of helping to raise cancer therapy to a new level of success as supplementing or supporting the body with natural phytochemicals cannot only reduce adverse side effects but improve also the effectiveness of chemotherapeutics. Various plant-derived compounds improve the efficiency of cytotoxic agents, decrease their resistance, lower and alleviate toxic side effects, reduce the risk of tumour lysis syndrome, and detoxify the body of chemotherapeutics. The personalised approach using various phytochemicals provides thus a new dimension to the standard cancer therapy for improving its outcome in a complex and complementary way.