Natural products as aromatase inhibitors

Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2008 Aug;8(6):646-82.


With the clinical success of several synthetic aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in the treatment of postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, researchers have also been investigating the potential of natural products as AIs. Natural products from terrestrial and marine organisms provide a chemically diverse array of compounds not always available through current synthetic chemistry techniques. Natural products that have been used traditionally for nutritional or medicinal purposes (e.g., botanical dietary supplements) may also afford AIs with reduced side effects. A thorough review of the literature regarding natural product extracts and secondary metabolites of plant, microbial, and marine origin that have been shown to exhibit aromatase inhibitory activity is presented herein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Cell Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Biological Products
  • Cell Extracts