Plants vs. cancer: A review on natural phytochemicals in preventing and treating cancers and their druggability

Hu Wang, Tin Oo Khor, Limin Shu, Zheng Yuan Su, Francisco Fuentes, Jong Hun Lee, Ah Ng Tony Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


Cancer remains to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States and around the world. The advent of modern drug-targeted therapies has undeniably improved cancer patients' cares. However, advanced metastasized cancer remains untreatable. Hence, continued searching for a safer and more effective chemoprevention and treatment is clearly needed for the improvement of the efficiency and to lower the treatment cost for cancer care. Cancer chemoprevention with natural phytochemical compounds is an emerging strategy to prevent, impede, delay, or cure cancer. This review summarizes the latest research in cancer chemoprevention and treatment using the bioactive components from natural plants. Relevant molecular mechanisms involved in the pharmacological effects of these phytochemicals are discussed. Pharmaceutical developmental challenges and opportunities in bringing the phytochemicals into the market are also explored. The authors wish to expand this research area not only for their scientific soundness, but also for their potential druggability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1305
Number of pages25
JournalAnti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


  • Anti-cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • Druggability
  • Mechanism
  • Natural compounds
  • Pathway
  • Phytochemical


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