Cancer and biotechnology: A matchup that should never slowdown

Ala'a Al-Hrout, Badriya Baig, Ali Hilal-Alnaqbi, Amr Amin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Citations (Scopus)


Plant-based treatments propose a very attractive approach for cancer prevention and therapy due to their minimal toxicity and lower-to-nonassociated side effects. About 40% of FDA-approved therapeutic agents are natural-based components or their derivatives. Plant-based components have been reported to have anticancer properties in vivo and in vitro through the modulation of many cancer hallmarks and niche elements, including self-renewal properties of cancer stem cells. Screening for anticancer agents, synthetic or natural-based, requires a reliable disease model. Efforts to mimic in vivo conditions have led to the development of three-dimensional culture system, a biotechnology that allows cells to grow in three dimensions. Nanotechnology is also fast growing into a quite powerful tool to improve quality of life, particularly the life of cancer patients. Clearing away most hurdles that conventional/herbal medicine is often challenged with, nanotechnology can potentially help delivering anticancer herbal drugs more specifically and efficiently. Given the rather gloomy reality of cancer, nanomedicine becomes the major silver lining. A number of successful conjugates of nanoparticle with herbal products are discussed in this chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiotechnology and Production of Anti-Cancer Compounds
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319538808
ISBN (Print)9783319538792
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2017


  • 3D-culture system
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Molecular docking
  • Nanomedicine
  • Plant-derived nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Medicine


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