Plant-based natural products in cancer therapeutics

J Drug Target. 2024 Apr;32(4):365-380. doi: 10.1080/1061186X.2024.2315474. Epub 2024 Feb 28.


Various cells in our body regularly divide to replace old cells and dead cells. For a living cell to be growing, cell division and differentiation is highly essential. Cancer is characterised by uncontrollable cell division and invasion of other tissues due to dysregulation in the cell cycle. An accumulation of genetic changes or mutations develops through different physical (UV and other radiations), chemical (chewing and smoking of tobacco, chemical pollutants/mutagens), biological (viruses) and hereditary factors that can lead to cancer. Now, cancer is considered as a major death-causing factor worldwide. Due to advancements in technology, treatment like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, hormone therapy and many more in the rows. Although, it also has some side effects like fatigue, hair fall, anaemia, nausea and vomiting, constipation. Modern improved drug therapies come with severe side effects. There is need for safer, more effective, low-cost treatment with lesser side-effects. Biologically active natural products derived from plants are the emerging strategy to deal with cancer proliferation. Moreover, they possess anti-carcinogenic, anti-proliferative and anti-mutagenic properties with reduced side effects. They also detoxify and remove reactive substances formed by carcinogenic agents. In this article, we discuss different plant-based products and their mechanism of action against cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; cancer proliferation; cell cycle; cell division; natural products.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products* / pharmacology
  • Biological Products* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / genetics


  • Biological Products