Natural Pharmaceutical Substances
Medical control of cancer may greatly benefit from the pharmaceutical potential that resides in natural-derived compounds. Conventional therapies cause serious side effects and, at best, merely extend the patient’s lifespan by a few years. There is thus the need to utilise alternative concepts or approaches in both cancer prevention and treatment. Insofar many natural products – originating from eggs, fruits, plants and herbs - display a diversified set of anticancer effects , interest in their clinical utilization has gained momentum during the last decades. Our lab is especially involved in studying the pleiotropic, ‘systems’ effects of a few set of very promising molecules, such as Melatonin, Grape Seed Extracts (GSE), and Inositol. Namely, all three of these molecules have been demonstrated to target both cell as well as microenvironmental-linked pathways (apoptosis modulation, cell proliferation, redox balance, calcium release, microtubule and microfilament reorganization). It is worth of noting that these molecules specifically affects cytoskeleton configuration and function, and by that way they have been proved to influence the tri-dimensional pattern of cell-microenvironment cross-talk, especially during developmental processes, like those occurring during oocyte maturation, embryogenesis and cancer onset.