Medicinal plants in the treatment of cancer

Communications in Plant Sciences, vol 5, issues 3-4, p.35-43, 2015

Full title: Medicinal plants in the treatment of cancer

Authors: Nenad M. Zlatić and Milan S. Stanković

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present a review of highly developed medicinal usages of plants in the treatment of cancer. In the last decades, the cancer treatment has been included in this range of plant use, due to plant active substances. Active substances or secondary metabolites are generally known for their widespread application. When it comes to the cancer treatment, these substances affect the uncontrolled cell division. Therefore, the plants which are the source of these substances are proved to be irreplaceable in this field of medicine. This paper deals with some of the most significant plants well known for their multiple aspects of beneficial medicinal influence. The group of the plants described is comprised of the following species: Taxus brevifolia (Taxaceae), Catharanthus roseus (Apocynaceae), Podophyllum peltatum (Berberidaceae), Camptotheca accuminata (Cornaceae), and Cephalotaxus harringtonia (Cephalotaxaceae). The comprehensive description of the plants in this paper includes the morphological characteristics, the features and the representation of the molecular structures of active substances, the particular influence that these active substances have and the general importance of the substances as seen from the aspect of cancer treatment mostly with reference to the impacts on cell cycle.

Keywords: Active substances, cancer treatment, medicinal plants.

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