Natural Anticancer Agents: Modifying the Epigenome to Prevent and Treat Cancer

Kristina Andrijauskaite, James L Morris, Michael J. Wargovich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A growing body of research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could not only reduce the risk of developing cancer, but also affect the treatment outcome. One common mechanism could involve epigenetic modulation. The precise mechanisms mediating epigenetics, however, are not well delineated. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive overview of food-derived natural compounds with epigenetic activity such as alterations of DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin architecture, and small noncoding RNAs. Specifically, we discuss the chemopreventive mechanisms by which natural compounds alter the cancer epigenome and thereby reverse gene silencing. In addition, we present our perspective on natural epigenetic compounds as adjuvants in cancer prevention therapy. Finally, we conclude our chapter by proposing an epigenetic diet mainly designed for those subjects diagnosed with known cancers evolving from silenced tumor-suppressor genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEpigenetics of Cancer Prevention
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780128124949
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Cancer chemoprevention
  • Cancer treatment
  • Epigenetic diet
  • Epigenetic model systems
  • Epigenetic modifiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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