Affiliation: Mountain Research Center (ESA), Polytechnic Institute of Braganca, Apartado 1172, 5301-855 Braganca, Portugal.
Cancer is a worldwide scourge; it’s the leading cause of death in developed countries and is increasing in developing countries. Mankind has been trying with effort to find better and cheaper treatments with fewer side effects, to reduce the incidence of the disease and its consequent mortality. For many years, phenolic compounds have been intensely studied for their antitumor, proapoptotic and antiangiogenic effects. In recent years, the usage of these compounds has increased considerably.
This manuscript intends to structurally characterize the different phenolic compounds (flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates, hydroxybenzoates, coumarins, xanthones, chalcones, stilbenes, lignins and lignans) and their metabolic pathways as well as review the most important results regarding these compounds and their derivatives in cancer treatment and prevention both in tumor cell lines in vitro, in murine models in vivo and finally some results regarding human trials.