Targeting epigenetics in cancer: therapeutic potential of flavonoids

Khan H., Belwal T., Efferth T., Farooqi A. A. , Sanches-Silva A., Vacca R. A. , ...More

CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1763910


Irrespective of sex and age, cancer is the leading cause of mortality around the globe. Therapeutic incompliance, unwanted effects, and economic burdens imparted by cancer treatments, are primary health challenges. The heritable features in gene expression that are propagated through cell division and contribute to cellular identity without a change in DNA sequence are considered epigenetic characteristics and agents that could interfere with these features and are regarded as potential therapeutic targets. The genetic modification accounts for the recurrence and uncontrolled changes in the physiology of cancer cells. This review focuses on plant-derived flavonoids as a therapeutic tool for cancer, attributed to their ability for epigenetic regulation of cancer pathogenesis. The epigenetic mechanisms of various classes of flavonoids including flavonols, flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanidins, such as cyanidin, delphinidin, and pelargonidin, are discussed. The outstanding results of preclinical studies encourage researchers to design several clinical trials on various flavonoids to ascertain their clinical strength in the treatment of different cancers. The results of such studies will define the clinical fate of these agents in future.