In vitro anti-cancer property of five synthetic cantharidin analogues: A mini-review

S. H.L. Kok, R. Gambari, C. H. Chui, W. S. Lam, J. Chen, F. Y. Lau, R. S.M. Wong, G. Y.M. Cheng, P. B.S. Lai, T. W.T. Leung, A. S.C. Chan, Cheuk On Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Novel drug discovery research for anti-cancer purposes remains urgent and essential, since cancer is still a major fatal cause disease in the 21st century. Cantharidin is a highly toxic compound especially affecting the haematopoietic and renal systems. It can be purified from some naturally occurring insects, including Mylabris species. Here we review our experience in the chemical synthesis and biological screening of five chemically modified cantharidin analogues on a series of human carcinoma cell lines. The pollination between chemical and bio-medical concepts during pharmaceutical design is encouraging in the discovery of novel compounds by maintaining the anti-cancer action, and simultaneously showing the selectivity on non-malignant cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalMinerva Biotecnologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Cantharidin
  • Neoplasms
  • Structural activity relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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