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The Potential of Epigallocatechin Gallate in Targeting Cancer Stem Cells: A Comprehensive Review


Rupa Chaudhuri, Anurima Samanta, Priyanka Saha, Sukanya Ghosh and Dona Sinha*   Pages 1 - 26 ( 26 )


The dreadful scenario of cancer prevails due to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which contribute to tumor growth, metastasis, invasion, resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy, and recurrence. CSCs are a small subpopulation of cells within the tumor that are characterized by self-renewal capability and have the potential to manifest heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells that constitute the tumor. The major bioactive green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been fruitful in downgrading cancer stemness signaling and CSC biomarkers in cancer progression. EGCG has been evidenced to maneuver extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways in order to decrease the viability of CSCs. Cancer stemness is intricately related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis and therapy resistance, and EGCG has been evidenced to regress all these CSC-related effects. By inhibiting CSC characteristics EGCG has also been evidenced to sensitize the tumor cells to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, the use of EGCG in in vitro and in vivo cancer models raises concern about its bioavailability, stability and efficacy against spheroids raised from parental cells. Therefore, novel nano formulations of EGCG and adjuvant therapy of EGCG with other phytochemicals or drugs or small molecules may have a better prospect in targeting CSCs. However, extensive clinical research is still awaited to elucidate a full proof impact of EGCG in cancer therapy.


Epigallocatechin gallate, cancer stem cells, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, therapy resistance, targeting of cancer stemness, adjuvant therapy with EGCG.


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