Research Topic

Role of Phytochemicals and Structural Analogs in Cancer Chemoprevention and Therapeutics

About this Research Topic

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. A systematic and complicated mechanism is involved in the transformation of a normal cell into cancerous form. In human body, most cell functions are controlled by genes through cell growth, signal transduction, protein transcription, cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair. Proto-oncogenes are essential for the normal functioning of cells and generally found in all the cells that have distinct role in making proteins necessary for the cell growth, division and other functions. There are 40 different proto-oncogenes discovered to date including; RAS, HER2, Myc and cyclin D. When mutations occur, proto-oncogenes are converted into oncogenes, which lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Chemopreventive phytochemicals can block initiation or reverse the promotion stage of multistep carcinogenesis. They can also halt or retard the progression of precancerous cells into malignant ones.

Plant-derived compounds have historically led to some of our most useful cancer drugs (e.g. paclitaxel, vincristine, etc). In recent days, the rate of plant-based drug discoveries is decreasing exponentially due to various factors such as lack of meticulous scientific evidences, dominance of other efficient therapies and other socio-economic issues. However, the efficacy of chemotherapy of cancer is limited by the development of drug resistance and metastatic disease. Plant-derived compounds have historically led to some of our most useful cancer drugs (e.g. paclitaxel, vincristine, etc). Moreover, plant bioactives are gaining increased attention lately for their therapeutic activity against many cancers (nearly 2000 publications per year) as they possess biological properties to inhibit the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer, therefore, culminate in the overall protection. Since advanced, recurrent and metastatic tumors are practically lethal and cannot be cured by any therapy, cancer chemoprevention of earlier lesions should be the definitive goal if we are to eradicate this deadly disease. To fulfil the unmet needs of cancer treatments, a scrupulous repurposing of plant-based phytochemicals such as chemical modification of the pharmacophore, development of delivery strategies including nanoformulations, and their uses in adjuvant settings need to be considered.

The goal of this Research Topic is to highlight research on phytochemicals that show great potential not only in prevention but also in controlling the cancer by modulating the oncogenes. With the major theme of “phytochemicals for cancer treatments”, this Topic will feature articles on potential anti-cancer phytochemicals and agents against various cancers. The Research Topic will also highlight the articles on the molecular targets and mechanism of actions of chemopreventives. However, to maintain the stringent guidelines of journal and quality of publications, manuscripts on i) uncharacterized crude plant extracts, ii) anti-cancer activity demonstration in single cancer cell line, and iii) data without cytotoxic and cytostatic effects against non-malignant normal cells will not be considered.

We welcome articles on delivery of chemopreventives to enhance efficacy and overcome dose related toxicity. We will also invite articles highlighting enhanced activity using structural modifications as well as uses of potent agents to chemosensitize drug resistant cells in adjuvant settings to combat cancer. This therefore comprehends new research articles and timely Reviews on all aspects of chemoprevention, mechanisms of plant bioactives, their uses in adjuvant settings and in secondary prevention, and finally their role as plant therapeutics.


Keywords: Cancer, Oncogenes, Plant Chemopreventives, Bioinformatics, Plant bioactives, Nanomedicine, Structural Analogs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. A systematic and complicated mechanism is involved in the transformation of a normal cell into cancerous form. In human body, most cell functions are controlled by genes through cell growth, signal transduction, protein transcription, cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair. Proto-oncogenes are essential for the normal functioning of cells and generally found in all the cells that have distinct role in making proteins necessary for the cell growth, division and other functions. There are 40 different proto-oncogenes discovered to date including; RAS, HER2, Myc and cyclin D. When mutations occur, proto-oncogenes are converted into oncogenes, which lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Chemopreventive phytochemicals can block initiation or reverse the promotion stage of multistep carcinogenesis. They can also halt or retard the progression of precancerous cells into malignant ones.

Plant-derived compounds have historically led to some of our most useful cancer drugs (e.g. paclitaxel, vincristine, etc). In recent days, the rate of plant-based drug discoveries is decreasing exponentially due to various factors such as lack of meticulous scientific evidences, dominance of other efficient therapies and other socio-economic issues. However, the efficacy of chemotherapy of cancer is limited by the development of drug resistance and metastatic disease. Plant-derived compounds have historically led to some of our most useful cancer drugs (e.g. paclitaxel, vincristine, etc). Moreover, plant bioactives are gaining increased attention lately for their therapeutic activity against many cancers (nearly 2000 publications per year) as they possess biological properties to inhibit the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer, therefore, culminate in the overall protection. Since advanced, recurrent and metastatic tumors are practically lethal and cannot be cured by any therapy, cancer chemoprevention of earlier lesions should be the definitive goal if we are to eradicate this deadly disease. To fulfil the unmet needs of cancer treatments, a scrupulous repurposing of plant-based phytochemicals such as chemical modification of the pharmacophore, development of delivery strategies including nanoformulations, and their uses in adjuvant settings need to be considered.

The goal of this Research Topic is to highlight research on phytochemicals that show great potential not only in prevention but also in controlling the cancer by modulating the oncogenes. With the major theme of “phytochemicals for cancer treatments”, this Topic will feature articles on potential anti-cancer phytochemicals and agents against various cancers. The Research Topic will also highlight the articles on the molecular targets and mechanism of actions of chemopreventives. However, to maintain the stringent guidelines of journal and quality of publications, manuscripts on i) uncharacterized crude plant extracts, ii) anti-cancer activity demonstration in single cancer cell line, and iii) data without cytotoxic and cytostatic effects against non-malignant normal cells will not be considered.

We welcome articles on delivery of chemopreventives to enhance efficacy and overcome dose related toxicity. We will also invite articles highlighting enhanced activity using structural modifications as well as uses of potent agents to chemosensitize drug resistant cells in adjuvant settings to combat cancer. This therefore comprehends new research articles and timely Reviews on all aspects of chemoprevention, mechanisms of plant bioactives, their uses in adjuvant settings and in secondary prevention, and finally their role as plant therapeutics.


Keywords: Cancer, Oncogenes, Plant Chemopreventives, Bioinformatics, Plant bioactives, Nanomedicine, Structural Analogs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

22 December 2020 Abstract
21 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

22 December 2020 Abstract
21 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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