Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer treatments by chemotherapeutic agents, surgery, and radiation have not been highly effective in reducing the incidence of cancers and increasing the survival rate of cancer patients. In recent years, plant-derived compounds have attracted considerable attention as alternative cancer remedies for enhancing cancer prevention and treatment because of their low toxicities, low costs, and low side effects. Ellagic acid (EA) is a natural phenolic constituent. Recent in vitro and in vivo experiments have revealed that EA elicits anticarcinogenic effects by inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, breaking DNA binding to carcinogens, blocking virus infection, and disturbing inflammation, angiogenesis, and drug-resistance processes required for tumor growth and metastasis. This review enumerates the anticarcinogenic actions and mechanisms of EA. It also discusses future directions on the applications of EA.
Keywords: Ellagic acid (EA); cancer; mechanism.