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Open AccessEditorial
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(9), 5657-5665;

Marine Compounds and Cancer: Where Do We Stand?

Department of Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation with Section Pneumology, Hubertus Wald-Tumorzentrum, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Laboratory of Marine Natural Products Chemistry, G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far-East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 690022 Vladivostok, Russian Federation
School of Natural Sciences, Far East Federal University, 690022 Vladivostok, Russian Federation
Tumor and Breast Center ZeTuP St. Gallen, 9006 St. Gallen, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 2 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Compounds and Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [234 KB, uploaded 2 September 2015]
Note: In lieu of an abstract, this is an excerpt from the first page.


In Western countries, cancer is among the most frequent causes of death. Despite striking advances in cancer therapy, there is still an urgent need for new drugs in oncology. Current development favors so called “targeted agents” or drugs that target the immune system, i.e., therapeutic antibodies that enhance or facilitate an immune response against tumor cells (also referred to as “checkpoint inhibitors”). However, until recently, roughly 60% of drugs used in hematology and oncology were originally derived from natural sources, and one third of the top-selling agents are either natural agents or derivatives [1]. There is justified hope for the discovery and development of new anticancer agents from the marine environment. Historically, this habitat has proven to be a rich source of potent natural compounds such as alkaloids, steroids, terpenes, macrolides, peptides, and polyketides, among others. Interestingly, marine agents and cancer treatment have had a special relationship from the beginning. One of the first marine-derived compounds, discovered in 1945 that was later developed into a clinically used drug, was spongothymidine [2–4], which was the lead compound for the discovery of cytarabine [5]. Until today, cytarabine remains one of the most widely used agents in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia and relapsed aggressive lymphomas. [...] View Full-Text
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dyshlovoy, S.A.; Honecker, F. Marine Compounds and Cancer: Where Do We Stand? Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 5657-5665.

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