Network pharmacology of natural products for cancer therapy

[Speaker] Thomas Efferth:1
1:Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenbeg University, Mainz, Germany

To combat complex systemic diseases that harbour robust biological networks such as cancer, single target intervention may be ineffective. Network pharmacology approaches are highly useful, because they differ from conventional drug discovery by addressing the ability of drugs to target numerous proteins or networks involved in a disease. Pleiotropic natural products are one of the promising strategies due to their multi-targeting and due to lower side effects. Here, we discuss the application of network pharmacology for cancer drug discovery. We provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on network pharmacology, focus on different technical approaches and implications for cancer therapy (e.g. polypharmacology and synthetic lethality), and illustrate the therapeutic potential with selected examples from herbal mixtures, medicinal herbs and isolated phytochemicals. Finally, we present future perspectives on their plausible applications for diagnosis and therapy of cancer.
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