Anticancer Drugs from Marine Flora: An Overview

Review, Article English OPEN
Sithranga Boopathy, N. ; Kathiresan, K. (2011)
  • Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
  • Journal: Journal of Oncology, volume 2,010 (issn: 1687-8450, eissn: 1687-8469)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3065217, doi: 10.1155/2010/214186
  • Subject: Review Article | RC254-282 | Article Subject | Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens

Marine floras, such as bacteria, actinobacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi, microalgae, seaweeds, mangroves, and other halophytes are extremely important oceanic resources, constituting over 90% of the oceanic biomass. They are taxonomically diverse, largely productive, biologically active, and chemically unique offering a great scope for discovery of new anticancer drugs. The marine floras are rich in medicinally potent chemicals predominantly belonging to polyphenols and sulphated polysaccharides. The chemicals have displayed an array of pharmacological properties especially antioxidant, immunostimulatory, and antitumour activities. The phytochemicals possibly activate macrophages, induce apoptosis, and prevent oxidative damage of DNA, thereby controlling carcinogenesis. In spite of vast resources enriched with chemicals, the marine floras are largely unexplored for anticancer lead compounds. Hence, this paper reviews the works so far conducted on this aspect with a view to provide a baseline information for promoting the marine flora-based anticancer research in the present context of increasing cancer incidence, deprived of the cheaper, safer, and potent medicines to challenge the dreadful human disease.
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