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Mar Drugs. 2011;9(9):1580-606. doi: 10.3390/md9091580. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Recently confirmed apoptosis-inducing lead compounds isolated from marine sponge of potential relevance in cancer treatment.

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Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Despite intense efforts to develop non-cytotoxic anticancer treatments, effective agents are still not available. Therefore, novel apoptosis-inducing drug leads that may be developed into effective targeted cancer therapies are of interest to the cancer research community. Targeted cancer therapies affect specific aberrant apoptotic pathways that characterize different cancer types and, for this reason, it is a more desirable type of therapy than chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as it is less harmful to normal cells. In this regard, marine sponge derived metabolites that induce apoptosis continue to be a promising source of new drug leads for cancer treatments. A PubMed query from 01/01/2005 to 31/01/2011 combined with hand-curation of the retrieved articles allowed for the identification of 39 recently confirmed apoptosis-inducing anticancer lead compounds isolated from the marine sponge that are selectively discussed in this review.


anticancer; apoptosis; cancer treatment; marine sponge; targeted cancer therapy

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