Natural products in the discovery of novel sonosensitizers

Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jun;162:144-51. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2015.12.004. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Sonodynamic therapy (SDT), which involves a combination of low-intensity ultrasound and chemotherapeutic agents called sonosensitizers, has been developed for its promising, distinct advantages, such as its noninvasive nature relative to traditional surgery and radiotherapy, greater accessibility to treat deeply located diseases than photodynamic therapy, and low systemic toxicity. Sonosensitizers derived from natural products play an important role in SDT, exerting potent sonodynamic activity for the treatment of various diseases including cancer, infections, and inflammation. In this review, the mechanism of SDT is systematically discussed and the recent advancements in the discovery and development of novel natural sonosensitizers for SDT are summarized. Furthermore, potential limitations and future perspectives are also presented.

Keywords: Cancer; Natural products; Sonodynamic therapy; Sonosensitizers; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Ultrasonic Therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products