Natural products as a source of potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents

J Nat Prod. Jan-Feb 1990;53(1):23-41. doi: 10.1021/np50067a003.


Recent advances in the chemistry of novel bioactive natural products are reported. This research is directed to the exploration of plants with confirmed activity in bioassays designed to detect potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents. Structural work and chemical studies are reported for several cytotoxic agents from the plants Annona densicoma, Annona reticulata, Claopodium crispifolium, Polytrichum obioense, and Psorospermum febrifugum. Studies are also reported based on development of a mammalian cell culture benzo[a]pyrene metabolism assay for the detection of potential anticarcinogenic agents from natural products. In this study a number of isoflavonoids and flavonoids with antimutagenic activity have been discovered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / metabolism
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor / methods*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Flavonoids
  • Benzo(a)pyrene