Steroidal Saponins: Naturally Occurring Compounds as Inhibitors of the Hallmarks of Cancer

Salwa Bouabdallah, Amna Al-Maktoum, Amr Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is a global health burden responsible for an exponentially growing number of incidences and mortalities, regardless of the significant advances in its treatment. The identification of the hallmarks of cancer is a major milestone in understanding the mechanisms that drive cancer initiation, development, and progression. In the past, the hallmarks of cancer have been targeted to effectively treat various types of cancers. These conventional cancer drugs have shown significant therapeutic efficacy but continue to impose unfavorable side effects on patients. Naturally derived compounds are being tested in the search for alternative anti-cancer drugs. Steroidal saponins are a group of naturally occurring compounds that primarily exist as secondary metabolites in plant species. Recent studies have suggested that steroidal saponins possess significant anti-cancer capabilities. This review aims to summarize the recent findings on steroidal saponins as inhibitors of the hallmarks of cancer and covers key studies published between the years 2014 and 2024. It is reported that steroidal saponins effectively inhibit the hallmarks of cancer, but poor bioavailability and insufficient preclinical studies limit their utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3900
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • cancer
  • cancer treatment
  • hallmarks of cancer
  • mechanism of cancer
  • natural products
  • steroidal saponins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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