A Review of Coumarin Derivatives in Pharmacotherapy of Breast Cancer

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The coumarin (benzopyran-2-one, or chromen-2-one) ring system, present in natural products (such as the anticoagulant warfarin) that display interesting pharmacological properties, has intrigued chemists and medicinal chemists for decades to explore the natural coumarins or synthetic analogs for their applicability as drugs. Many molecules based on the coumarin ring system have been synthesized utilizing innovative synthetic techniques. The diversity oriented synthetic routes have led to interesting derivatives including the furanocoumarins, pyranocoumarins, and coumarin sulfamates (COUMATES), which have been found to be useful in photochemotherapy, antitumor and anti-HIV therapy, and as stimulants for central nervous system, antibacterials, anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulants, and dyes. Of particular interest in breast cancer chemotherapy, some coumarins and their active metabolite 7-hydroxycoumarin analogs have shown sulfatase and aromatase inhibitory activities. Coumarin based selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and coumarin-estrogen conjugates have also been described as potential antibreast cancer agents. Since breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in American women behind lung cancer, there is a strong impetus to identify potential new drug treatments for breast cancer. Therefore, the objective of this review is to focus on important coumarin analogs with antibreast cancer activities, highlight their mechanisms of action and structure-activity relationships on selected receptors in breast tissues, and the different methods that have been applied in the construction of these pharmacologically important coumarin analogs.


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Copyright @ 2008 Bentham Science Publishers.