The use of natural products in colorectal cancer drug discovery

Koh Miura, Masayuki Satoh, Makoto Kinouchi, Kuniharu Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Hasegawa, Yoichiro Kakugawa, Masaaki Kawai, Kiyoshi Uchimi, Hiroki Aizawa, Shinobu Ohnuma, Taiki Kajiwara, Hiroto Sakurai, Tsuneaki Fujiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Natural products (NPs) are evolutionarily designed and contain more complex and challenging structures than synthetic compounds. Since the 1980s, the pharmaceutical industry has gradually shifted to a strategy of developing targeted agents by screening libraries of synthetic compounds. However, NPs have recently received renewed focus as a rich repository for drug discovery. Irinotecan was developed as a derivative of camptothecin and was applied in standard regimens for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) worldwide. Additionally, polysaccharide K is approved for CRC in Japan and Taiwan in combination with cytotoxic agents. However, after the approval of irinotecan in 1996, no anti-cancer agents derived from NPs have been approved for CRC.Areas covered: This review discusses NPs that are currently under investigation for the treatment of CRC. In addition, other NPs derived as purified ingredients and crude extracts are listed and also discussed.Expert opinion: The use of NPs for the discovery of anti-cancer agents has not been fully investigated. New technologies that are currently applied for synthetic compounds may be utilized for anti-cancer drug discovery including NPs for CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1


  • Anti-cancer agent
  • Cancer prevention
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Drug discovery
  • Natural products


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of natural products in colorectal cancer drug discovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this