On December 23rd, 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act and invested more than $ 100 million “to
launch an intensive campaign to find a cure for cancer”. Today, despite these considerable efforts, cancer still remains a very aggressive
silent killer all over the world.
Moreover, over the last decade, novel synthetic chemotherapeutic agents currently in use in the clinics did not succeed in fulfilling their
expectations even though they are very cost-intensive. In parallel, there is increasing evidence for the potential of plant-derived
compounds on the inhibition of different steps of tumor genesis and associated inflammatory processes, underlining the importance of
these products in cancer prevention and therapy.
This review summarizes the impact of selected natural compounds on the eight major alterations, known as the cancer hallmarks, and
also on their two enabling characteristics that were coined by Hanahan and Weinberg earlier. Altogether these ten alterations are
responsible for the progressive transition of healthy cells into neoplastic ones and their further dissemination in the body.
With this review, we try to highlight molecular mechanisms by which plant extracts and their purified active components fight and
overcome these pathological variations of the cell signaling pathways for the improvement of prevention and therapy. We truly believe
that all diseases can be found in Nature and that Nature also provides the efficient cures.