Marine ecosystem represents a wide and untapped reservoir of biologically active
metabolites. Most of the sponges, seaweeds, crustaceans, fish species and their associated
microorganisms have evolved chemical means in order to defend themselves against predation
and to survive in the complex marine environment. Such chemical and biological adaptation
produced many bioactive substances with beneficial effects on human health, including potential
anticancer agents. With further exploration of sea and ocean environment, several marine
bioactives have been identified with promising anticancer activity. More than one hundred novel
bioactive compounds with antitumor activity and their synthetic derivative substances displayed
in vitro cytotoxic property on neoplastic cell lines and are currently gaining great attention for
further evaluations and in vivo applications. This review highlights novel marine molecules and
compounds which have been able to inhibit different cancer species in the recent years and aims
to describe research on new natural antineoplastic agents obtained from sea world.
Keywords: Antitumor agents, cancer, cytotoxic, marine bioactives, natural compounds, anticancer research.
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