Cancer is a common and complex disease with high incidence and mortality rates, which causes a severe public health problem worldwide. As one of the standard therapeutic approaches for cancer therapy, the prognosis and outcome of chemotherapy are still far from satisfactory due to the severe side effects and increasingly acquired resistance. The development of novel and effective treatment strategies to overcome chemoresistance is urgent for cancer therapy. Metabolic reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer. Cancer cells could rewire metabolic pathways to facilitate tumorigenesis, tumor progression, and metastasis, as well as chemoresistance. The metabolic reprogramming may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy and rekindle the research enthusiasm for overcoming chemoresistance. This review focuses on emerging mechanisms underlying rewired metabolic pathways for cancer chemoresistance in terms of glucose and energy, lipid, amino acid, and nucleotide metabolisms, as well as other related metabolisms. In particular, we highlight the potential of traditional Chinese medicine as a chemosensitizer for cancer chemotherapy from the metabolic perspective. The perspectives of metabolic targeting to chemoresistance are also discussed. In conclusion, the elucidation of the underlying metabolic reprogramming mechanisms by which cancer cells develop chemoresistance and traditional Chinese medicines resensitize chemotherapy would provide us a new insight into developing promising therapeutics and scientific evidence for clinical use of traditional Chinese medicine as a chemosensitizer for cancer therapy.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cancer Research
- Cancer metabolism
- Metabolic reprogramming
- Traditional chinese medicines