There are new approaches and agents against certain types of cancer that are urgently needed. Some of the new agents use highly advanced technology utilizing nanoencapsulation that will improve the therapeutic index of the natural drugs. Nanoparticles for cancer therapeutics are rapidly evolving and are being introduced in an attempt to overcome several limitations of conventional small-molecule chemotherapeutics. Though chemotherapy is successful to some extent in certain cancers, it has several limitations (14). I will be discussing three natural products (Currcumin, Thymoquinone and Genistein) from plants that have anti-cancer effects. These three natural products have been studied for its antitumor mechanism against pancreatic cancer. The natural products have to be given in large quantities, due to its very short half-life and poor bioavailability. Therefore, to increase its bioavailability, they intend to load the natural products in stearically stabilized micelles and target them on receptors on plasma membrane of tumor cells. By delivering a cargo of chemosensitizers, which effectively block drug efflux from cancer cells, natural products can increase intracellular drug concentrations and significantly enhance the cytotoxic effect of various antitumor effects (14). The stearically stabilized components will have greater growth inhibitory, and apoptotic potential.
Cancer represents one of the most severe health problems worldwide and the development of new anticancer drugs and more effective treatment strategies are fields of utmost importance in drug discovery and clinical therapy (6). Among all cancers, pancreatic cancer is one of the worst. Even with the survival rate for all stages of pancreatic cancer at 5%, it is the fourth major cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, and the treatment options are not very promising. This is due to the invasive ability of pancreatic cancer cells during the early stages of carcinogenesis. Therefore, a majority of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer often results in death due to metastatic disease, even after treatment, making it very complex and difficult to treat (2).
Small organic molecules derived naturally from microbes and plants have provided for over 40 years a number of useful cancer chemotherapeutic drugs. (20) A variety of natural products have been discovered over the last decade to inhibit human cancer cell proliferation. These compounds represent a whole new range of structurally diverse structures for anticancer drug discovery. I will focus on three natural products derived from plants that have anti-cancer effects. The natural products are as follows: Currcumin, thymoquinone and genistein.
UTILIZING NATURAL PRODUCTS:
The hunt for naturally occurring lead compounds has continued in recent years, and are being investigated for their anti-cancer activities. Selected new compounds or their...