Chapter 5

African Medicinal Plants: An Untapped Reservoir of Potential Anticancer Agents

Conrad V. Simoben and Fidele Ntie-Kang


Despite continuing scientific and commercial interests in cancer research around drug discovery, both less developed and developed countries are still trapped in the grip of this deadly and dreadful disease. Naturally occurring compounds represent approximately 50% of the chemotherapeutic agents, which have so far been brought to the market for cancer treatment. Traditional preparations have been the major source of cancer treatment in Africa, with traditional healers making regular use of these plants for the treatment of cancer and other ailments, since the continent is endowed with a rich floral bio-diversity. Africa's medicinal plants are known to biosynthesize interesting chemical structures with promising biological activities Thus, natural products from the African continent hold a premise for drug discovery and it is expected that the next generation of drugs, including potential anti-cancer drugs or the scaffolds necessary for the synthesis of new anti-cancer drugs could be lodged in African plants. We present some promising natural products for the anticancer drug development from African flora.

Total Pages: 87-104 (18)

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