Potential anticancer role of colchicine-based derivatives: an overview

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Abstract

Colchicine, the main alkaloid of the poisonous plant meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale L.), is a classical drug used for the treatment of gout and familial Mediterranean fever. Although colchicine is not clinically used to treat cancer because of toxicity, it exerts antiproliferative effects through the inhibition of microtubule formation by blocking the cell cycle at the G2/M phase and triggering apoptosis. Colchicine can still be used as a lead compound for the generation of potential anticancer drugs. Thus, numerous analogues of colchicine have been synthesized in the hope of developing novel, useful drugs with more favourable pharmacological profiles. Several colchicine semisynthetics are less toxic than colchicine and research is being carried out on effective, less toxic colchicine semisynthetic formulations with potential drug-delivery strategies directly targeting multiple solid cancers. This review focuses on the anticancer role of some of colchicine-based derivatives and their therapeutic importance.

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