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A Review on Chemical Profile of Coumarins and their Therapeutic Role in the Treatment of Cancer

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 2 ]


K. Venkata Sairam, B. M. Gurupadayya, R. S. Chandan, Dattatri K. Nagesha and B. Vishwanathan   Pages 186 - 201 ( 16 )


Coumarin class of organic compounds consists of 1,2-benzopyrone ring system as a basic parent scaffold. These benzopyrones are subdivided into alpha-benzopyrones and gammabenzopyrones; with coumarin class of compounds belonging to alpha-benzopyrones. Since the last few years, coumarins were synthesized in many of their derivative forms. Their pharmacological, therapeutic and biochemical properties depend upon their pattern of substitution. Coumarins exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities, which includes anti-diabetic, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anticancer, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, anti-helminthic, anti-proliferative, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive activities. Among these properties, the present review article compiles the detailed research findings of coumarins as anti-cancer agents. Research reports reveal that coumarins inhibit human malignant tumor cell lines in vitro and also show anti-proliferative activity against many mammalian tumors in vivo. Clinical trials conducted on these coumarin class of compounds showed promising activity against several types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, malignant melanoma, prostate cancer and metastatic renal cell carcinoma etc. This review presents a comprehensive and up to date literature survey on coumarins as anti-cancer agents. Furthermore, a detailed overview of various clinical trials conducted on coumarin class of compounds tested for various types of malignancies has been described.


Anticancer, Coumarins, Clinical trials, Breast cancer, Blood and Ovarian cancer Cervical cancer, Colon cancer, Gastric cancer, Lung cancer, Leukemia cancer, Malignant melanoma, Pancreatic cancer, Prostrate cancer, Renal cell carcinoma.


Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, JSS College of Pharmacy, JSS University, Sri Shivarathreeswara Nagar, Mysuru -570 015, Karnataka, India.

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