Affiliation: Marine Bioprocess Research Center, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Korea.
Cancer has long been an area of extensive research both at the molecular as well as pharmaceutical level. However, lack of understanding of the underlying molecular signalling and the probable targets of therapeutics is a major concern in successful treatment of cancer. The situation becomes even worse, with the increasing side effects of the existing synthetic commercial drugs. Natural compounds especially those derived from plants have been best explored for their anticancer properties and most of them have been efficient against the known molecular targets of cancer. However, advent of biotechnology and resulting advances in medical arena have let to the increasing knowledge of newer carcinogenic signaling agents which has made the anticancer drug discovery even more demanding. The present review aims to bring forward the molecular mediators of cancer and compiles the plant derived anticancer agents with special emphasis on their clinical status. Since marine arena has proved to be a tremendous source of pharmaceutical agents, this review also focuses on the anticancer potential of marine plants especially algae. This is a comprehensive review covering major aspects of cancer mediation and utilization of marine flora for remediation of this deadly disease