The role of EGCG and EGFR in Cancer

Cancer and the 2 Es: EGCG and EGFR

In today’s blog post I’m diving into the role of EGCG and EGFR in cancer treatment and prevention.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is an active polyphenol derived from green tea and plays a special role in inhibiting cancer cell signaling and therefore, tumor growth.

Cancer is uncontrolled cell growth combined with a reduction in cell death. Cancer cell death is referred to as apoptosis. EGCG is a highly-researched chemopreventative agent used to induce apoptosis and inhibit cancer cell proliferation. EGCG is a novel adjunctive cancer treatment that works synergistically with conventional medical treatments including certain forms of chemotherapy and radiation.

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is a type of tyrosine kinase receptor and is also a marker for metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread from its original organ to other organs and systems in the body). Therefore, higher levels of EGFR detected can be correlated to increased cancer burden in the body. Receptors like EGFR need a molecule to bind to it in order to regulate its activity (in normal cells). In cancer, either too many of these binding molecules are formed or there is an actual mutation found in the EGFR; both of which permits EGFR’s constant activity. EGFR promotes cancer cell growth, metabolism and survival in the tumor microenvironment created by the cancer cells. Therefore, you can imagine that having control of the EGFR receptor is an integral part of controlling epithelial-derived cancers.

There are incredible amounts of research that have been done on EGCG and its role in inhibiting the signaling pathways stimulated by EGFR. EGCG has shown to inhibit expression of EGFR and inhibit transactivation of EGFR.

Drinking even a few cups of green tea per day will not suffice! The amounts of EGCG required to trigger the molecular response explained above, is much much much more than can be obtained from drinking green tea. Well-researched supplements are available – that contain high doses of EGCG in concentrated form and standardize the amount available per capsule.

Although EGCG is a natural agent, it does not mean that EGCG is safe for every individual to take. Depending on where the cancer is active in the body and other pharmacological agents you may be taking, EGCG may not be suitable for you. Your Naturopathic Doctor will be able to advise you on dosing that is safe and effective for you.

For more information on integrative cancer treatments or any other conditions, please feel free to book an appointment with me online today or email for more information. I also offer complimentary 15-minute consults if you would like to meet with me prior to booking an initial visit. Stay up to date with my Naturmend blog posts for more information on cutting edge treatments and research!


Gan et al. 2017. Absorption, metabolism, anti-cancer effect and molecular targets of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG): An updated review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Sasaki et al. 2013. The role of epidermal growth factor receptor in cancer metastasis and microenvironment. Biomed research international.

Yu-Chao Ma et al. 2014. Epigallocatechin gallate inhibits the growth of human lung cancer by directly targeting the EGFR signaling pathway. 31:3. 1791-2431.


Dr.Nadia Mawji, ND

Dr. Nadia Mawji values and seeks to find new and emerging therapies and treatments through medical clinical research that can benefit her patients in the best possible way. Her passion lies with helping individuals in prevention, treatment and management of cancer and other chronic immune disease. Her experience involves utilizing the most current and effective oral therapies, combined with targeted intravenous therapies, most current laboratory tests, along with dietary modifications to best target various types of cancer.



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