SIGNIFICANCE: Oxidative stress has been mechanistically linked with aging and chronic diseases, including cancer. In fact, oxidative stress status, chronic disease-related inflammation, and cancer occurred in the aging population are tightly correlated. It is well known that the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) plays important roles in oxidative stress, inflammation, and carcinogenesis. Therefore, targeting NF-κB is an important preventive or therapeutic strategy against oxidative stress, inflammation, and cancer.
RECENT ADVANCES: A variety of natural compounds has been found to reduce oxidative stress through their antioxidant activity. Among them, isoflavone, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and its in vivo dimeric compound 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) have shown their promising effects on the inhibition of NF-κB with corresponding reduction of oxidative stress.
CRITICAL ISSUES: It has been found that isoflavone, I3C, and DIM could inhibit cancer development and progression by regulating multiple cellular signaling pathways that are related to oxidative stress and significantly deregulated in cancer.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS: The antioxidative and anticancer effects of these natural agents make them strong candidates for chemoprevention and/or therapy against human malignancies. However, more clinical trials are needed to evaluate the effects of isoflavone and DIM for the prevention of cancer development and also for the treatment of cancer either alone or in combination with conventional cancer therapeutics.
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