Why bortezomib cannot go with 'green'?
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Eat more 'green' or eat 'five a day' is one of the most important healthy lifestyle behaviours in the 21 century. Aiming to fight cancer effectively, more than half patients use vitamins or herbs concurrently with conventional anticancer treatment. Flavonoids or polyphenols existing in vegetables, fruits and green tea are common plant pigments with antioxidant properties and considered acting as cancer preventing or anti-cancer agents. Recently it was found that some flavonoids and vitamin C in diet or supplements have antagonistic effect with the anti-cancer drug bortezomib. Bortezomib is a specific inhibitor for proteasome and is currently used for treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Despite its successful rates in treating multiple myeloma and other solid tumors, it is unable to kill leukemic cells in the blood. It was recently revealed that some flavonoids and vitamin C present in green leaves and green teas in the blood can neutralize bortezomib by directly interaction between two chemicals. Here we summarize why dietary flavonoids should be avoided in patients who take bortezomib as chemotherapeutic drug.