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Marine Microalgae with Anti-Cancer Properties

Department of Integrative Marine Ecology, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, 80121 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(5), 165;
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Compounds and Cancer)
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Cancer is the leading cause of death globally and finding new therapeutic agents for cancer treatment remains a major challenge in the pursuit for a cure. This paper presents an overview on microalgae with anti-cancer activities. Microalgae are eukaryotic unicellular plants that contribute up to 40% of global primary productivity. They are excellent sources of pigments, lipids, carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and other fine chemicals, and there is an increasing demand for their use as nutraceuticals and food supplements. Some microalgae are also reported as having anti-cancer activity. In this review, we report the microalgal species that have shown anti-cancer properties, the cancer cell lines affected by algae and the concentrations of compounds/extracts tested to induce arrest of cell growth. We also report the mediums used for growing microalgae that showed anti-cancer activity and compare the bioactivity of these microalgae with marine anticancer drugs already on the market and in phase III clinical trials. Finally, we discuss why some microalgae can be promising sources of anti-cancer compounds for future development. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine biotechnology; microalgae; anti-cancer marine biotechnology; microalgae; anti-cancer

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Martínez Andrade, K.A.; Lauritano, C.; Romano, G.; Ianora, A. Marine Microalgae with Anti-Cancer Properties. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 165.

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