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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 953451, 35 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/953451
Review Article

Antitumor Activity of Monoterpenes Found in Essential Oils

1Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-970 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-Graduação em Produtos Naturais e Sintéticos Bioativos, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Caixa Postal 5009, 58015-970 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
3Departamento de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, 49100-000 São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil

Received 11 April 2014; Revised 16 June 2014; Accepted 17 June 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Chantal Pichon

Copyright © 2014 Marianna Vieira Sobral et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cancer is a complex genetic disease that is a major public health problem worldwide, accounting for about 7 million deaths each year. Many anticancer drugs currently used clinically have been isolated from plant species or are based on such substances. Accumulating data has revealed anticancer activity in plant-derived monoterpenes. In this review the antitumor activity of 37 monoterpenes found in essential oils is discussed. Chemical structures, experimental models, and mechanisms of action for bioactive substances are presented.