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Role of Natural Bioactive Compounds in the Rise and Fall of Cancers


Recent years have seen the idea of a close association between nutrition and the modulation of cancer development/progression reinforced. In fact, an increasing number of experimental and epidemiological evidence have been produced supporting the concept that many different bioactive components of food (e.g. polyphenols, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, methyl-group donors….) may be implicated in either the promotion of or the protection against carcinogenesis. At cellular level, such compounds can have an impact on different but sometimes intertwined processes, such as growth and differentiation, DNA repair, programmed cell death, and oxidative stress. In addition, compelling evidence is starting to build up of the existence of primary epigenetic targets of dietary compounds, such as oncogenic/oncosuppressor miRNAs or DNA-modifying enzymes, which in turn impair gene expression and function. This editorial aims to summarize the themes of the 31 papers (20 original articles and 11 reviews) published in the special issue “Role of Natural Bioactive Compounds in the Rise and Fall of Cancers” presenting the latest findings on the intracellular pathways and mechanisms affected by selected natural molecules influencing the fine-tuning of cancer phenotype.