Enriching cancer pharmacology with drugs of marine origin

Paula C. Jimenez, Diego V. Wilke, Paola C. Branco, Anelize Bauermeister, Paula Rezende-Teixeira, Susana P. Gaudêncio, Leticia V. Costa-Lotufo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Marine natural products have proven, over the last half-century, to be effective biological modulators. These molecules have revealed new targets for cancer therapy as well as dissimilar modes of action within typical classes of drugs. In this scenario, innovation from marine-based pharmaceuticals has helped advance cancer chemotherapy in many aspects, as most of these are designated as first-in-class drugs. Here, by examining the path from discovery to development of clinically approved drugs of marine origin for cancer treatment—cytarabine (Cytosar-U®), trabectedin (Yondelis®), eribulin (Halaven®), brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®), and plitidepsin (Aplidin®)— together with those in late clinical trial phases—lurbinectedin, plinabulin, marizomib, and plocabulin—the present review offers a critical analysis of the contributions given by these new compounds to cancer pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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