Next Article in Journal
Identification of (Z)-2,3-Diphenylacrylonitrile as Anti-Cancer Molecule in Persian Gulf Sea Cucumber Holothuria parva
Previous Article in Journal
Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Activity, Antioxidant Properties, Phenolic Content and Amino Acid Profiles of Fucus spiralis L. Protein Hydrolysate Fractions
Previous Article in Special Issue
Kempopeptin C, a Novel Marine-Derived Serine Protease Inhibitor Targeting Invasive Breast Cancer
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(10), 310;

Marine Sponge Natural Products with Anticancer Potential: An Updated Review

Department for Life Quality Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Corso d’Augusto 237, 47921 Rimini, Italy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Larkin University, Miami, FL 33169, USA
These authors contributed equally to this article.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drugs as Antitumour Agents 2017)
Full-Text   |   PDF [809 KB, uploaded 13 October 2017]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine sponges; cancer; apoptosis; cell cycle; cancer chemoprevention; cancer chemotherapy marine sponges; cancer; apoptosis; cell cycle; cancer chemoprevention; cancer chemotherapy

Graphical abstract

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Calcabrini, C.; Catanzaro, E.; Bishayee, A.; Turrini, E.; Fimognari, C. Marine Sponge Natural Products with Anticancer Potential: An Updated Review. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 310.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Mar. Drugs EISSN 1660-3397 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top