This review covers recent literature from 2012-2019 concerning 170 marine natural products
and their semisynthetic analogues with strong anticancer biological activities. Reports that shed light on
cellular and molecular mechanisms and biological functions of these compounds, thus advancing the
understanding in cancer biology are also included. Biosynthetic studies and total syntheses, which have
provided access to derivatives and have contributed to the proper structure or stereochemistry elucidation
or revision are mentioned. The natural compounds isolated from marine organisms are divided into
nine groups, namely: alkaloids, sterols and steroids, glycosides, terpenes and terpenoids, macrolides,
polypeptides, quinones, phenols and polyphenols, and miscellaneous products. An emphasis is placed
on several drugs originating from marine natural products that have already been marketed or are currently
in clinical trials.
Keywords: Anticancer, antitumor, cytotoxic, marine, medicinal chemistry, natural products.
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