Differentiation of cancer cells entails the reversion of phenotype from malignant to the original. The conversion to cell type characteristic for another tissue is named transdifferentiation. Differentiation/transdifferentiation of malignant cells in high grade tumor mass could serve as a nonaggressive approach that potentially limits tumor progression and augments chemosensitivity. While this therapeutic strategy is already being used for treatment of hematological cancers, its feasibility for solid malignancies is still debated. We will presently discuss the natural compounds that show these properties, with focus on anthraquinones from Aloe vera, Senna, Rheum sp. and hop derived prenylflavonoids.
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