Anticancer drugs discovery and development from marine organism

Curr Top Med Chem. 2009;9(16):1536-45. doi: 10.2174/156802609789909803.


The chemical and biological diversity of the different marine evolutionary group is endless and therefore, this is an amazing resource for the discovery of new anticancer drugs. Comprising 34 of the 36 Phyla of life, marine ecosystems are indeed our last genetic diversity and biotechnological boundary; terrestrial systems possess only 17 Phyla. Sponges, coelenterates and microorganisms are the foremost resources of therapeutic compounds. Algae, echinoderms, tunicates, mollusks, bryozoans are also the sources of anticancer drugs from marine resources. We highlight the past and current status of marine anticancer pharmacology using different marine groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Oceans and Seas


  • Antineoplastic Agents