Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Drugs from Nature

  • Barbora Orlikova
  • Noémie Legrand
  • Jana Panning
  • Mario Dicato
  • Marc Diederich
Conference paper
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 159)


Over the centuries, plant extracts have been used to treat various diseases. Until now, natural products have played an important role in anticancer therapy as there are more than 500 compounds from terrestrial and marine plants or microorganisms, which have antioxidant, antiproliferative, or antiangiogenic properties and are therefore able to reduce tumor growth. The recent discovery of new natural products has been accelerated by novel technologies (high throughput screening of natural products in plants, animals, marine organisms, and microorganisms). Vincristine, irinotecan, etoposide, and paclitaxel are examples of compounds derived from plants that are used in cancer treatment. Similarly, actinomycin D, mitomycin C, bleomycin, doxorubicin, and L-asparaginase are drugs derived from microorganisms. In this review, we describe the molecular mechanisms of natural compounds with anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities.


Natural compounds Cancer Inflammation Cyclooxygenase Nuclear factor kappa B Chemotherapy Chemoprevention 



Vascular endothelial growth factor


Reactive oxygen species


Transcription factor nuclear factor κB

N-pyrazinecarbonyl-L-phenyl-alanine-l-leucine boronic acid



B-cell activating factor


NF-κB-inducing kinase


Signal transducer and activator of transcription




Cyclin-dependent kinase


Eukaryotic elongation factor 2


Protein kinase C


Phosphoinositide 3-kinase


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Myosin light-chain kinase


Ataxia telangiectasia mutated


Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase


Epigallocatechin gallate


Inhibits IκB kinase


Docosahexaenoic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid


11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid



BO and NL are recipients of doctoral Télévie-Luxembourg grants. Research at the Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Cancer is supported by “Recherche Cancer et Sang” foundation, “Recherches Scientifiques Luxembourg” association, “Een Haerz fir kriibskrank Kanner” association, the Action Lions “Vaincre le Cancer” association and Télévie Luxembourg. Further support was received from the European Union (ITN “RedCat” 215009, Interreg IVa project “Corena”).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbora Orlikova
    • 1
  • Noémie Legrand
    • 1
  • Jana Panning
    • 1
  • Mario Dicato
    • 1
  • Marc Diederich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du CancerFondation de Recherche Cancer et SangLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.College of PharmacySeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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