Anticancer potential of furanocoumarins: Mechanistic and therapeutic aspects

Salman Ahmed, Haroon Khan, Michael Aschner, Hamed Mirzae, Esra Küpeli Akkol, Raffaele Capasso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Cancer is one of the most extreme medical conditions in both developing and developed countries around the world, causing millions of deaths each year. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are key for treatment approaches, but both have numerous adverse health effects. Furthermore, the resistance of cancerous cells to anticancer medication leads to treatment failure. The rising burden of cancer overall requires novel efficacious treatment modalities. Natural medications offer feasible alternative options against malignancy in contrast to western medication. Furanocoumarins’ defensive and restorative impacts have been observed in leukemia, glioma, breast, lung, renal, liver, colon, cervical, ovarian, and prostate malignancies. Experimental findings have shown that furanocoumarins activate multiple signaling pathways, leading to apoptosis, autophagy, antioxidant, antimetastatic, and cell cycle arrest in malignant cells. Additionally, furanocoumarins have been shown to have chemo preventive and chemotherapeutic synergistic potential when used in combination with other anticancer drugs. Here, we address different pathways which are activated by furanocoumarins and their therapeutic efficacy in various tumors. Ideally, this review will trigger interest in furanocoumarins and their potential efficacy and safety as a cancer lessening agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5622
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2 2020


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Furanocoumarin
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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