Fruit-derived phenolic compounds and pancreatic cancer: Perspectives from Australian native fruits

Q. V. Vuong, S. Hirun, P. A. Phillips, T. L.K. Chuen, M. C. Bowyer, C. D. Goldsmith, C. J. Scarlett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance Pancreatic cancer is a devastating cancer that presents late, is rapidly progressive and has current therapeutics with only limited efficacy. Bioactive compounds are ubiquitously present in fruits and numerous studies in vitro are addressing the activity of these compounds against pancreatic cancer, thus studies of specific bioactive compounds could lead to new anti-pancreatic cancer strategies. Australian native fruits have been used as foods and medicines by Australian Aboriginals for thousands of years, and preliminary studies have found these fruits to contain rich and diversified bioactive components with high antioxidant activity. Thus, Australian native fruits may possess key components for preventing or delaying the onset of tumorigenesis, or for the treatment of existing cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Materials and methods Numerous databases including PubMed, SciFinder, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, and Sciencedirect were analysed for correlations between bioactive components from fruits and pancreatic cancer, as well as studies concerning Australian native fruits. Results In this review, we comprehensively highlight the proposed mechanisms of action of fruit bioactives as anti-cancer agents, update the potential anti-pancreatic cancer activity of various major classes of bioactive compounds derived from fruits, and discuss the existence of bioactive compounds identified from a selection Australian native fruits for future studies. Conclusion Bioactive compounds derived from fruits possess the potential for the discovery of new anti-pancreatic cancer strategies. Further, Australian native fruits are rich in polyphenols including some flora that contain unique phenolic compounds, thereby warranting further investigations into their anti-cancer properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


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