Background: Typhonium is the largest genus in the Araceae family (~70 species), distributed in South
Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia. Typhonium is well-known for its ethnopharmacological uses, and Southeast
Asians consider it as an alternative medicine to treat cancer. This review elucidated the confirmed chemical structures
of the isolated compounds of Typhonium and emphasized on their anticancer activities against various human
Methods: Among several species, Typhonium blumei, T. flagelliforme, T. divaricatum and T. giganteum were extensively
studied due to the presence of a class of secondary metabolites. All the available reports on Typhonium were
included and discussed in this article.
Results: Until now several groups of compounds, namely amino acids (1, 2), cinnamic acid (3), fatty acids (4-14),
glycerol derivatives (15-18) and cerebrosides (19-34), flavonoids (35), hydantoins (36-38), lignin monomers (39-44),
nucleobases (45-48), pheophorbides (49-52), phthalate (53), terpene and steroids (54-59) and vitamins (60, 61) were
isolated and characterized from Typhonium. These phytochemicals were investigated for their anticancer properties,
and results confirmed the promising growth inhibitory effect and anticancer activities against human lung, breast,
prostate and colon cancer cells. The anticancer activity of these compounds appears to be mediated through the induction
of apoptotic cell death. These phytochemicals further reported to exhibit other pharmacological efficacies,
including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-allergic, neuroprotective and hepato-protective properties.
Conclusion: This is the first review to summarize the anticancer properties of all isolated compounds of Typhonium
genus with confirmed chemical structures. Further advanced studies are necessary to establish the detailed signaling
pathways that are involved in the anticancer property of the compounds.