IMR Press / FBS / Volume 14 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbs1403024
Open Access Review
Naturally-Occurring Bioactives in Oral Cancer: Preclinical and Clinical Studies, Bottlenecks and Future Directions
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1 Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, 300645 Timis, Romania
2 Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Arturo Prat, Avda. 1110887 Iquique, Chile
3 Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, 19858-58962 Tehran, Iran
4 Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria (IMIB-Arrixaca-UMU), Clínica Odontológica Universitaria Hospital Morales Meseguer Adv. Marques de los velez s/n, 30008 Murcia, Spain
5 Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Andalus University for Medical Sciences, 35XQ+C2F Tartous, Syria
6 Department of Life Sciences, Presidency University, 1212 Kolkata, India
7 Chemical and Biochemical Processing Division, ICAR – Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, 400019 Mumbai, India
8 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, 2713 Doha, Qatar
9 Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research Unit, QU Health, Qatar University, 2713 Doha, Qatar
10 Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 050040 Almaty, Kazakhstan
11 Department of Life Sciences, National University of Kaohsiung, 811 Kaohsiung, Taiwan
*Correspondence: (Javad Sharifi-Rad); (Abhijit Dey); (Jen-Tsung Chen)
Academic Editor: Luca Testarelli
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2022, 14(3), 24;
Submitted: 18 March 2022 | Revised: 16 July 2022 | Accepted: 1 August 2022 | Published: 19 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research on Medicinal Plants)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Oral cancer (OC) is the eighth most common cancer, particularly prevalent in developing countries. Current treatment includes a multidisciplinary approach, involving chemo, radio, and immunotherapy and surgery, which depends on cancer stage and location. As a result of the side effects of currently available drugs, there has been an increasing interest in the search for naturally-occurring bioactives for treating all types of cancer, including OC. Thus, this comprehensive review aims to give a holistic view on OC incidence and impact, while highlights the preclinical and clinical studies related to the use of medicinal plants for OC prevention and the recent developments in bioactive synthetic analogs towards OC management. Chemoprophylactic therapies connect the use of natural and/or synthetic molecules to suppress, inhibit or revert the transformation of oral epithelial dysplasia (DOK) into oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Novel searches have underlined the promising role of plant extracts and phytochemical compounds, such as curcumin, green tea extract, resveratrol, isothiocyanates, lycopene or genistein against this malignancy. However, poor bioavailability and lack of in vivo and clinical studies and complex pharmacokinetic profiles limit their huge potential of application. However, recent nanotechnological and related advances have shown to be promising in improving the bioavailability, absorption and efficacy of such compounds.

oral cancer
head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
green tea extract
Fig. 1.
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