Nanomedicine as a strategy for natural compound delivery to prevent and treat cancers

Ibrahim A. Aljuffali, Chia Lang Fang, Chun Han Chen, Jia You Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Of the >140 anticancer drugs approved since 1940 and available for clinical application, >60% can be traced to a natural product. Of the small molecules among them, 67% are natural in origin. Nanocarriers can be effective anticancer drug delivery systems for preventing and treating cancers. It has been demonstrated that nanoparticles used for drug therapy provide some advantages over conventional formulations, including increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, prolonged half-life, tissue targeting, and minimal side effects. Methods: In recent years, the concept of using nanoparticles as the carriers of natural products or herbal drugs has attracted increasing attention. This review highlights recent developments using nanomedical approaches for natural product delivery. Results: We systematically introduce the concepts and amelioration mechanisms of the nanomedical techniques for natural product cancer therapy. These modalities are useful in the therapy incorporating a wide variety of natural products for treating brain, lung, breast, and colorectal cancers. The nanosystems for biomedicine can be categorized into three groups: polymeric, lipid, and metallic nanoparticles. All of these have been employed as anticancer carriers for natural products. This review describes various nanocarriers loaded with natural compounds for passive or active targeting of tumors. Conclusion: The nanomedicine research data for phytomedicine cancer remedies suggest a way forward for generating advances in chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4219-4231
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticle
  • Natural product

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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