Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major impediment to increasing life expectancy. However, survival rates with average standard cancer treatment strategies have not significantly improved in recent decades, with tumor metastasis, adverse drug reactions, and drug resistance still posing major challenges. Replacement therapies are essential for treating this terrible disease. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of phytochemical-derived conjugated chemotherapeutic agents due to their biocompatibility, low cytotoxicity, low resistance, and dynamic physiochemical properties that distinguish normal cells in treating various types of cancer. The use of plant-based carriers has many advantages, such as the availability of raw materials, lower cost, lower toxicity in most cases, and greater compatibility with the body's structure compared to chemical and mineral types of carriers. Unfortunately, several challenges complicate the efficient administration of herbal medicines, including physicochemical disadvantages such as poor solubility and instability, and pharmacokinetic challenges such as poor absorption and low bioavailability that can cause problems in clinical trials. Novel delivery systems such as liposomes, phytosomes, nanoparticles, and nanocapsules are more suitable as delivery systems for phytomedicinal components compared to conventional systems. The use of these delivery systems can improve bioavailability, pharmacological activity, prolonged delivery, and provide physical and chemical stability that increases half-life. This article discusses different types of phytocompounds used in cancer treatment.
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