The anti-cancer activity of noscapine: a review

Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2009 Jan;4(1):92-7. doi: 10.2174/157489209787002524.


Noscapine is an isoqiunoline alkaloid found in opium latex. Unlike most other alkaloids obtained from opium latex, noscapine is not sedative and has been used as antitussive drug in various countries. Recently, it has been introduced as an anti-mitotic agent. This drug can be used orally. When the resistance to other anti-cancer drugs such as paclitaxel manifests, noscapine might be effective. Therefore, noscapine and its analogs have great potential as novel anti-cancer agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Noscapine / pharmacokinetics
  • Noscapine / pharmacology
  • Noscapine / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Noscapine