Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Natural Products

  • A. Douglas Kinghorn
  • P. Annécie Benatrehina
  • Garima Agarwal
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_3977-3



The term “natural product” is in general use for small-molecular-weight organic compounds with no known role in the primary metabolism of their producing terrestrial or marine organism of origin, which may be prokaryotic or eukaryotic. Natural products currently used as either cancer chemotherapeutic drugs or anticancer drug candidates are produced by microbes of terrestrial origin, higher plants, and marine organisms.


Parameters of Natural Products

It has been estimated that there are some 160,000 structurally defined natural products, which are based on a large number of different carbon skeletons. These compounds are the so-called secondary metabolites of organisms and are usually of restricted taxonomic distribution, since substances of a specified structural class are biosynthesized only by certain organisms. Secondary metabolites are considered to be produced for ecological reasons by organisms that are mainly immobile...


Brentuximab Vedotin Trastuzumab Emtansine Bisindole Alkaloid Product Anticancer Agent Cancer Chemotherapeutic Drug 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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See Also

  1. Actinomycin D. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 19. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_46Google Scholar
  2. Combinatorial libraries. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 952. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_1272Google Scholar
  3. Doxorubicin. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1159. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_1722Google Scholar
  4. Trastuzumab-DM1. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 3776–3777. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6757Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Douglas Kinghorn
    • 1
  • P. Annécie Benatrehina
    • 1
  • Garima Agarwal
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA