NCI Drug Dictionary

  • Resize font
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

milk thistle
A substance derived from any of several Old World coarse prickly-leaved shrubs and subshrubs including the plant Silybum marianum. Milk thistle's active chemical component is silymarin, which is a combination of flavonoids such as silibinin, dehydrosilibinin, silychristin and silydianin. These compounds are antioxidants and may alter the membrane structure of the liver cell, thereby blocking the absorption of toxins; they may also stimulate the production of new liver cells. In addition, milk thistle may increase cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, exhibiting dose-dependent cardiac myocyte cytoprotection against doxorubicin. The silibinin component of milk thistle has been shown to inhibit growth factor receptor-mediated mitogenic and cell survival signaling, thereby inhibiting tumor growth. (NCI04) Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)