The Brazilian flora, the most diverse in the world, is considered an important source of natural richness. Natural products have long been an exceptional source of therapeutic agents, and still serve as an excellent source for new drug discovery. In the last decades, small organic molecules derived from plants have provided a number of useful anticancer drugs. In Brazil, screening programs have been established as a strategy to identify potentially bioactive substances. Currently, more constituents of plants are being investigated for their anticancer activities. This review shows that Brazil ranks 13th in publications on natural products related to oncology and compares the number of publications among Brazilian institutions. The Federal University of Ceará (UFC) is the 2nd
Brazilian institution in the number of works in this area. Among the research groups in UFC, it is important to highlight the contributions of the Brazilian National Laboratory of Experimental Oncology
(LabNOE) in searching for new potential anticancer molecules. This study also describes results of extensive anticancer studies of crude extracts and isolated compounds conducted by the laboratory (LabNOE) in the past years.
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