Anticancer Activity of Punica granatum (Pomegranate): A Review

Phytother Res. 2017 Apr;31(4):568-578. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5784. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


Cancer is a pathological condition where excessive and abnormal cell growth leads to widespread invasion within the body to affect various organ functions. It is known that chemotherapeutic agents are themselves possible candidate of cancer generation as they can kill normal cells. So, therapeutic approach for cancer treatment and prevention is weighed in terms of benefit to risk ratio. Nowadays, there is an immense interest for the search herbal formulation with cancer preventive effect because of the problems, generated with existing chemotherapeutic regimens. Research interest in fruits rich in polyphenols is increasing because of their anticancer potential. In this review, we highlight the potential health benefits of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit and the underlying mechanism of its inhibition of cancer progression. Pomegranate has demonstrated anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic and anti-invasive effects on various cancer cell line in vitro as well as in vivo animal model or human clinical trial. Although several clinical trials are in progress for identifying the pomegranate as a candidate for various cancer treatment. It is necessary to replicate and validate its therapeutic efficacy by multiple clinical studies in order to formulate pomegranate products as an integral part of the dietary and pharmacological intervention in anticancer therapy. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: anti-proliferative; cancer; chemotherapeutic agent; pomegranate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts