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Natural products: An upcoming therapeutic approach to cancer

Dutta, Sayanta, Mahalanobish, Sushweta, Saha, Sukanya, Ghosh, Shatadal, Sil, Parames C.
Food and chemical toxicology 2019 v.128 pp. 240-255
antineoplastic agents, apoptosis, autophagy, cytotoxicity, genes, growth factors, homeostasis, mutation, neoplasms, pro-apoptotic proteins, receptors, signal transduction, therapeutics, toxicology, traditional medicine, transcription factors
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the world. Different environmental and anthropogenic factors initiate mutations in different functional genes of growth factors and their receptors, anti-apoptotic proteins, self-renewal developmental proteins, tumor suppressors, transcription factors, etc. This phenomenon leads to altered protein homeostasis of the cell which in turn induces cancer initiation, development, progression and survival. From ancient times various natural products have been used as traditional medicine against different diseases. Natural products are readily applicable, inexpensive, accessible and acceptable therapeutic approach with minimum cytotoxicity. As most of the target-specific anticancer drugs failed to achieve the expected result so far, new multi-targeted therapies using natural products have become significant. In this review, we have summarized the efficacy of different natural compounds against cancer. They are capable of modulating cancer microenvironment and diverse cell signaling cascades; thus playing a major role in combating cancer. These compounds are found to be effective against several signaling pathways, mainly cell death pathways (apoptosis and autophagy) and embryonic developmental pathways (Notch pathway, Wnt pathway and Hedgehog pathway). This review article is expected to be helpful in understanding the recent progress of natural product research for the development of anticancer drug.