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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 815621, 22 pages
Review Article

An Update on Antitumor Activity of Naturally Occurring Chalcones

1School of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China
2School of Preclinical Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Received 15 January 2013; Accepted 19 March 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshiyuki Kimura

Copyright © 2013 En-Hui Zhang 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.


Chalcones, which have characteristic 1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-one skeleton, are mainly produced in roots, rhizomes, heartwood, leaves, and seeds of genera Angelica, Sophora, Glycyrrhiza, Humulus, Scutellaria, Parartocarpus, Ficus, Dorstenia, Morus, Artocarpus, and so forth. They have become of interest in the research and development of natural antitumor agents over the past decades due to their broad range of mechanisms including anti-initiation, induction of apoptosis, antiproliferation, antimetastasis, antiangiogenesis, and so forth. This review summarizes the studies on the antitumor activity of naturally occurring chalcones and their underlying mechanisms in detail during the past decades.