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Anticancer potential of natural products: a review focusing on Sri Lankan plants
*Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anchala I. Kuruppu)
In the pharmaceutical industry, the expected surge in production of new therapeutic entities promised by technological advances, such as high-throughput screening, synthetic libraries and advances in molecular biology and genomics, has not materialized. The unique structural diversity of natural products continues to provide opportunities to discover novel compounds. Secondary metabolites, active components of natural products such as marine organisms, microbial organisms and terrestrial plants, are particularly exciting untapped resources for exploration as medicines. Sri Lanka is home to around 3700 plant species, half of which are considered as medicinal plants. Seventy per cent of the Sri Lankan population relies on this plant-based traditional medicine system for treating various illnesses such as tumors. As such these medicinal plant sources should be used to conquer terminal diseases and for prevention of diseases. Sri Lankan researchers have found several plant species that possess cytotoxic activity. This review summarizes the current information regarding the Sri Lankan plant materials that possess anticancer properties.