Noscapine derivatives as potential anticancer agents
Noscapine is an phthalideisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, that has been used as a cough suppressant since the mid-1950s. More recently, noscapine was found to act as a weak inhibitor of microtubule polymerization, which has generated interest in developing anticancer agents based on noscapine. The usefulness of microtubule targeting agents in the treatment of cancer has been validated by the successful use of a number of taxanes and vinca alkaloids in the therapy of a variety of cancers. Although noscapine has exhibits modest activity in this respect, it's favourable toxicity profile and oral bioavailability make it an appealing target for further study.