A review on the role of phytoconstituents in cancer cells

Sasikala Mariyappan, Vignesh Pichaiyan, Sivakumar Ramalingam, Renuka Saravanan


For centuries, herbs and plants have been used for medicinal purpose and as food as well. This review deals with the phytoconstituents that could be useful in the destruction of cancer cells and in researches dealing with the development of drug molecules for the management of cancer. This review has centered on the action of plants such as Abelmochusmochatus, Adiantummvenusutum, Agelemarmelos, Biorhythms sensitivum, Yemeni plants, Hibiscus cannabinus, Leeaindica, Ginseng root, Cinnamon bark, Aloe vera, Cassia tora, Gmelinaasiatica, Curcumin, Magnolia officinalis, Syzygiumaromaticum, Silybummaianum, Pfaffiapaniculata which serves as anti-cancer agents. A variety of herbal molecules such as Brassinosteroids, Etoposides, Flavonoids, Limonoids, Rosmarinicacid, Polyphenols, Thymoquinone, Paclitaxel, Teniposide, Vinblastine, Vincristine, Paclitaxel, Vinca alkaloid have been identified in different types of herbs and investigation has been carried out successfully against cancer cells. In future, it would be helpful to explore the medicinal value of these plants for the discovery of new drugs by the researchers and scientists across the globe.

Keywords: Cancer, Medicinal plants, Phytoconstituents and Chemotherapeutic drugs

Full Text:



Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. American Cancer Society journal. 2017,(https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts- figures/cancer facts-figures-2017.html)

Das R, Mehta DK, Chaudhary AK, Khan MU. Important herbs in treatment of cancer. Int.J. Res. Dev. Pharm. L. Sci. 2012; 1(3): 135-142.

Aslam MS, Naveed S, Ahmed A, Abbas Z, Gull I, Athar MA. Side effects ofchemotherapy in cancer patients and evaluation of patients opinion about starvation baseddifferential chemotherapy. Journal of Cancer Therapy. 2014; 5: 817-822.doi: org/10.4236/jct.2014.58089.

Pandey G, Madhuri S. Some medicinal plants as natural anticancer agents. Phcog Rev. 2009; 3(6): 259-263.

Alonso-Castro AJ, Villarreal ML, Salazar-Olivo LA, Gomez-Sanchez M, Dominguez F, Garcia-Carranca A. Mexican medicinalplants used for cancer treatment: Pharmacological,phytochemical and ethnobotanical studies. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2011; 133: 945-972. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.055.

RenukaS, Brindha P, Sivakumar R. A Review on the role of phytoconstituents in breastcancer cells. Int.J.PharmTech Res.2014; 6(2): 799-808.

Jain S, Dwivedi J, Jain PK, Satpathy S, Patra A. Medicinal plants for treatment of cancer:A brief review.Pharmacognosy Journal. 2016; 8(2): 87-101.doi: 10.5530/pj.2016.2.1.

Minarni I, Artika M, Julistiono H, Bermawie N, Riyanti EI, Hasim, ZainalHasan AE.Anticancer activity test of ethyl acetate extract of endophytic fungi isolated from soursop leaf(Annonamuricata L.).Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine.2017; 1-6.doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtm.2017.06.004.

Chouhan A, Karma A, Artani N, Parihar D. Overview on cancer: role of medicinal plants inits treatment. World Journal Of Pharmacy And Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2016; 5(5): 185-207.doi: 10.20959/wjpps20165-6295.

Sharma C, Vas AJ, Goala P, Gheewala TM, Rizvi TA, Hussain A.EthanolicNeem(Azadirachtaindica) Leaf Extract Prevents Growth of MCF-7 and HeLaCells and Potentiatesthe Therapeutic Index of Cisplatin. Journal of Oncology.2014; 1-10.

Steenkamp V, Gouws MC. Cytotoxicity of six South African medicinal plant extracts used inthe treatment of cancer. South African Journal of Botany.2006; 72: 630-633.doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2006.02.004

Shareef M, Ashraf MA, Sarfraz M. Natural cures for breast cancer treatment. SaudiPharmaceutical Journal.2016; 24: 233-240.doi:org/10.1016/j.jsps.2016.04.018.

Herdwiani W, Soemardji AA, Elfahmi, Tan M. A review of cinnamon as a potent anticancerdrug. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2016 ; 9(3): 8-13.

Wilken R, Veena MS, Wang MB, SrivatsanES. Curcumin: A review of anti-cancerproperties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Cancer.2011; 10: 1-12.

Saedi TA, Noor SM, Ismail P, Othman F. The effects of herbs and fruits on leukaemia.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014; 1-8. doi.org/10.1155/2014/494136

Martarelli D, Martarelli B, Pediconi D, Nabissi MI, Perfumi M, Pompei P. HypericumPerforatummethanolic extract inhibits growth of human prostatic carcinoma cell lineorthotopically implanted in nude mice. Cancer Letters. 2004; 210(1): 27-33.

Ghagane SC, Puranik SI, Kumbar VM, Nerli RB, Jalalpure SS, Hiremath MB,Neelagund S, Aladakatti R. In vitro antioxidant and anticancer activity of Leeaindica leafextracts on human prostate cancer cell lines. Integr Med Res. 2017; 6: 79–87. doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2017.01.004

Nagamine MK, Silva TC, Matsuzaki P, Pinello KC, Cogliati B, Pizzo CR, Akisue G,Haraguchi M, Gorniak SL, Sinhorini IL, Rao KVK, Barbuto JAM, Dagli MLZ.Cytotoxic effects of butanolic extract from Pfaffiapaniculata (Brazilian Ginseng) on culturedhuman breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology.2009; 61: 75-82.

Amri E. The role of selected plant families with dietary ethnomedicinal species used asanticancer. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. 2014; 2(1): 28-39.

Prakash O, Kumar A, Kumar P, Ajeet. Anticancer Potential of Plants and Natural Products:A Review.American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences.2013; 1(6): 104-115.doi: 10.12691/ajps-1-6-1.

MilindP, Deepa K. Clove: a champion spice. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda &Pharmacy. 2011; 2(1): 47-54.

Sameer R, Nidhi S, Tarun V, Charan S, Jyoti J. A review on naturally derived compoundsfor potential anticancer activity. Indian Journal of Drugs.2016; 4(3): 75-86.

Sisodiya PS. Plant derived anticancer agents: a review. Int. J. Res. Dev. Pharm. L. Sci.2013; 2(2): 293-308.

Wang H, Khor TO, Shu L, Su Z, Fuentes F, Jong-Hun L, Ah-Ng TK. Plants AgainstCancer: A Review on Natural Phytochemicals in Preventing and Treating Cancers and TheirDruggability.Anticancer Agents Med Chem.2012; 12(10): 1281-1305.

Moudi M, Go R, Yien CYS, Nazre M. Vinca alkaloids. International Journal of PreventiveMedicine.2013; 4(11): 1231-1235.

Amin A, Gali-Muhtasib H, Ocker M. Schneider-Stock R. Overview of Major Classes ofPlant-Derived Anticancer Drugs. Int J Biomed Sci. 2009; 5(1): 1–11.


  • There are currently no refbacks.