Potential Compounds for Oral Cancer Treatment: Resveratrol, Nimbolide, Lovastatin, Bortezomib, Vorinostat, Berberine, Pterostilbene, Deguelin, Andrographolide, and Colchicine

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 4;10(11):e0141719. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141719. eCollection 2015.


Oral cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related deaths in South-Asian countries. There are very limited treatment options available for oral cancer. Research endeavors focused on discovery and development of novel therapies for oral cancer, is necessary to control the ever rising oral cancer related mortalities. We mined the large pool of compounds from the publicly available compound databases, to identify potential therapeutic compounds for oral cancer. Over 84 million compounds were screened for the possible anti-cancer activity by custom build SVM classifier. The molecular targets of the predicted anti-cancer compounds were mined from reliable sources like experimental bioassays studies associated with the compound, and from protein-compound interaction databases. Therapeutic compounds from DrugBank, and a list of natural anti-cancer compounds derived from literature mining of published studies, were used for building partial least squares regression model. The regression model thus built, was used for the estimation of oral cancer specific weights based on the molecular targets. These weights were used to compute scores for screening the predicted anti-cancer compounds for their potential to treat oral cancer. The list of potential compounds was annotated with corresponding physicochemical properties, cancer specific bioactivity evidences, and literature evidences. In all, 288 compounds with the potential to treat oral cancer were identified in the current study. The majority of the compounds in this list are natural products, which are well-tolerated and have minimal side-effects compared to the synthetic counterparts. Some of the potential therapeutic compounds identified in the current study are resveratrol, nimbolide, lovastatin, bortezomib, vorinostat, berberine, pterostilbene, deguelin, andrographolide, and colchicine.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Algorithms*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Berberine / pharmacology
  • Bortezomib / pharmacology
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Databases, Pharmaceutical*
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology
  • Limonins / pharmacology
  • Lovastatin / pharmacology
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Resveratrol
  • Rotenone / analogs & derivatives
  • Rotenone / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Support Vector Machine
  • Vorinostat


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Diterpenes
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Limonins
  • Stilbenes
  • Rotenone
  • Berberine
  • nimbolide
  • pterostilbene
  • andrographolide
  • Vorinostat
  • Bortezomib
  • Lovastatin
  • deguelin
  • Resveratrol
  • Colchicine

Grant support

These authors have no support or funding to report.