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Assistant professor publishes paper for medical journal

Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and Fengfei Wang, research associate of pharmaceutical sciences in the Wu lab, co-wrote the review article, "Xanthones from Mangosteen Extracts as Natural Chemopreventive Agents: Potential Anticancer Drugs," which has been peer-reviewed and accepted by Current Molecular Medicine.

According to the authors, the treatment and management of malignant tumors still remain a formidable challenge for public health despite decades of research. New strategies for cancer treatment are being developed, and one of the most promising treatment strategies involves the application of chemopreventive agents. The search for novel and effective cancer chemopreventive agents has led to the identification of various naturally occurring compounds. Xanthones, from the pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood and leaf of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.), are known to possess a wide spectrum of pharmacologic properties, including anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activities. The potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities of xanthones have been demonstrated in different stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion and progression) and are known to control cell division and growth, apoptosis, inflammation and metastasis. Multiple lines of evidence from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed that xanthones inhibit proliferation of a wide range of human tumor cell types by modulating various targets and signaling transduction pathways.

"This article provides a concise and comprehensive review of preclinical data and assesses the observed anticancer effects of xanthones, supporting its remarkable potential as an anticancer agent," Wu said. The paper was co-written with Qingyong Ma's lab at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. "We have recently established a close collaboration with the Ma lab in finding anticancer drugs and elucidating the mechanisms of the targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer, a fatal disease," Wu said.

Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing its readers with current and comprehensive reviews and original research articles on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. Its current impact factor is 5.21, ranking 12th of 106 medicine, research and experimental journals (

Wu laboratory research interests include tumor therapeutic targets, drug targets, natural products and biomarkers. This year so far, Wu has published 11 papers in high-tier journals and one book chapter (

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