Review of procedures used for the extraction of anti-cancer compounds from tropical plants

Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2015;15(3):314-26. doi: 10.2174/1871520614666141114202104.


Tropical plants are important sources of anti-cancer lead molecules. According to the US National Cancer Institute, out of the 3000 plants identified as active against cancer using in vitro studies, 70% are of tropical origin. The extraction of bioactive compounds from the plant materials is a fundamental step whose efficiency is critical for the success of drug discovery efforts. There has been no review published of the extraction procedures of anti-cancer compounds from tropical plants and hence the following is a critical evaluation of such procedures undertaken prior to the use of these compounds in cancer cell line studies, during the last five years. It presents a comprehensive analysis of all approaches taken to extract anti-cancer compounds from various tropical plants. (Databases searched were PubMed, SciFinder, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Embase and Google Scholar).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tropical Climate


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts