Anticancer Plants and Their Conservation Strategies: An Update

  • Vankayalapati Vijaya KumarEmail author
  • Mallappa Kumara Swamy
  • Mohd. Sayeed Akhtar


Cancer is a multi-disease involving an abnormal growth of cells with the possibility of spreading or invading into other tissues of the body. Cancer harms the body by uncontrolled division of cells forming lumps or mass of tissue called tumor, which can be either benign or malignant type. The current practice of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is painful and is associated with side effects. Various chemical compounds including alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and terpenes found in plants, such as Colchicum autumnale, Taxus baccata, T. brevifolia, Catharanthus roseus, Curcuma longa, Glycyrrhiza glabra, etc. are recorded with anticancer potential, and some of which are already being used as anticancer agents. These natural compounds can enhance the body’s immunity and help in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells or cancer prognosis. Therefore in recent times, plant-based anticancer drugs are highly appreciated to the fact that they are safe when compared to the synthetic ones. In this regard, medicinal plants have been widely exploited in nature leading to habitat loss, and some species are in the margin of extinction. Further, loss of habitats due to environmental disturbance, industrialization, and urbanization has indirectly contributed to the endangered status for many plants around the globe. Hence, conservation of these threatened medicinal plants is a great challenge to the herbal, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. There is a need to adopt both in situ and ex situ conservation strategies, and though the micropropagation technique of biotechnological tools is much admired. Moreover, cryopreservation approach can be used for a long-term conservation. Therefore, this chapter provides an overview of anticancer plants and various conservational strategies used for some of the important anticancer plants.


Alkaloids Anticancer compounds Conservation Cryopreservation Tumors 



The author is thankful to the Management of Core Green Sugar and Fuels Pvt. Ltd. for giving an opportunity and encouragement in preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vankayalapati Vijaya Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mallappa Kumara Swamy
    • 2
  • Mohd. Sayeed Akhtar
    • 3
  1. 1.Core Green Sugar and Fuels Private LimitedTumkur Village, Shahapur Taluk, Yadgir DistrictIndia
  2. 2.Department of Crop Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyGandhi Faiz-e-Aam CollegeShahjahanpurIndia

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