Anticancer drug discovery from the marine environment

Candida Nastrucci, Alfredo Cesario, Patrizia Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discovery, isolation, biochemical/pharmacological characterization, pre-clinical and clinical trials of drugs derived from the marine environment are continuously developing and increasing. One of the most promising area is cancer therapy. Currently, there are two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMA) in cancer treatment, namely Cytarabine (Cytosar-U1®) and Eribulin (E7389 or Halaven®). Trabectedin (ET-743 or Yondelis1®), approved by EMA, is completing key Phase III studies in the U.S. for final approval. It was estimated that 118 marine natural products (MNPs) are currently in preclinical trials, 22 MNPs in clinical trials and 3 MNPs on the market. The characteristics and selectivity profiles of new drugs for cancer therapy, as well as drugs disclosed in related patent applications, will be the focus of this review, providing a brief and ready to use reference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-232
Number of pages15
JournalRecent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Anticancer therapy
  • Clinical trials cancer
  • Human diseases
  • Marine drugs
  • Mechanism of action
  • Multitargets
  • Patent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Anticancer drug discovery from the marine environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this