Despite the huge investment into research and the significant effort and advances made in the search for new anticancer drugs in recent decades, cancer cure and treatment continue to be a formidable challenge. Many sources, including plants, animals, and minerals, have been explored in the oncological field because of the possibility of identifying novel molecular therapeutics. Marine sponges are a prolific source of secondary metabolites, a number of which showed intriguing tumor chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties. Recently, Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs derived from marine sponges have been shown to reduce metastatic breast cancer, malignant lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s disease. The chemopreventive and potential anticancer activity of marine sponge-derived compounds could be explained by multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms, including DNA protection, cell-cycle modulation, apoptosis, and anti-inflammatory activities as well as their ability to chemosensitize cancer cells to traditional antiblastic chemotherapy. The present article aims to depict the multiple mechanisms involved in the chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of marine sponges and critically explore the limitations and challenges associated with the development of marine sponge-based anticancer strategy.
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