Clin Oncol | Volume 4, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Natural Products as Treatment against Cancer: A Historical and Current Vision

Ricardo Guimarães Amaral1*, Sara Albuquerque dos Santos1, Luciana Nalone Andrade2, Patrícia Severino2 and Adriana Andrade Carvalho1

1Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Brazil
2Institute of Technology and Research, University of Tiradentes, Aracaju, Brazil

*Correspondance to: Ricardo GuimarĂ£es Amaral 

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Based on the potential of natural products for the discovery of new compounds for the treatment of diseases, the purpose of the present review was to investigate the importance of natural products for the development of treatments for cancer. Since the 1980s, a total of 174 new compounds with indications for cancer treatment have been approved for commercialization, of which a total of 93 (53%) were natural products or derived directly or based on them. Due to the relative ease of access to the plants, most of the discoveries of anticancer compounds were derived from plants, among these discoveries the drug obtained from the bark of Taxus brevifolia (paclitaxel) presents one of the most successful stories in plant-based research. However, marine and microbiological organisms have also provided many promising bioactive compounds with high therapeutic potential such as trabectedin, cytotoxic antibiotics of the Anthracycline class and enedyines. In conclusion, the natural products were essential importance for the discoveries of treatments for the cancer, with prospect of more discoveries and innovations with the advent of new technologies.


Natural products; Cancer; Treatments


Amaral RG, dos Santos SA, Andrade LN, Severino P, Carvalho AA. Natural Products as Treatment against Cancer: A Historical and Current Vision. Clin Oncol. 2019; 4: 1562.

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