Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2020 ;20(6):651-666
Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Unit, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand.
Cancer commands the second highest global mortality rate and causes severe public health problems. Recent advances have been made in cancer therapy but the incidence of the disease remains high. Research on more efficient treatment methods with reduced side effects is necessary. Historically, edible plants have been used as traditional medicines for various diseases. These demonstrate the potential of natural products as sources of bioactive compounds for anticancer treatment. Anticancer properties of phytochemicals are attributed to bioactive compounds in plant extracts that suppress cancer cell proliferation and growth by inducing both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. This review presents a summary of the molecular identification of phytochemicals with anticancer properties and details their action mechanisms and molecular targets. Moreover, the effects of the natural product on both immunomodulatory and anticancer properties are provided.