Bioactive compounds: Multi-targeting silver bullets for preventing and treating breast cancer

Nethaji Muniraj, Sumit Siddharth, Dipali Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Each cell in our body is designed with a self-destructive trigger, and if damaged, can happily sacrifice itself for the sake of the body. This process of self-destruction to safeguard the adjacent normal cells is known as programmed cell death or apoptosis. Cancer cells outsmart normal cells and evade apoptosis and it is one of the major hallmarks of cancer. The cardinal quest for anti-cancer drug discovery (bioactive or synthetic compounds) is to be able to re-induce the so called “programmed cell death” in cancer cells. The importance of bioactive compounds as the linchpin of cancer therapeutics is well known as many effective chemotherapeutic drugs such as vincristine, vinblastine, doxorubicin, etoposide and paclitaxel have natural product origins. The present review discusses various bioactive compounds with known anticancer potential, underlying mechanisms by which they induce cell death and their preclinical/clinical development. Most bioactive compounds can concurrently target multiple signaling pathways that are important for cancer cell survival while sparing normal cells hence they can potentially be the silver bullets for targeting cancer growth and metastatic progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1563
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • BITC
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Cancer
  • Curcumin
  • EGCG
  • Genistein
  • Honokiol
  • Resveratrol
  • Withaferin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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