Main Article Content
Cancer is a genetic disease caused by genetic alterations that affect cell functioning, specifically cell growth, and division. It is also known for being a significant cause of death worldwide. Due to all the setbacks like adverse side effects of conventional anticancer therapeutics, the field of ethnopharmacology has caught the attention of scientists globally. This led to the discovery of various potential plant-derived anticancer drugs. Alkaloids are the most remarkable plant secondary metabolites with potential toxicity proving remarkable therapeutic effects against a diverse range of malignancies and other diseases in vitro and in vivo. Alkaloids were initially used in defense of various infections and pathogens. Over the last decade, many alkaloids have been isolated and studied, revealing different fascinating alkaloid properties. These include numerous neuroactive substances like caffeine and nicotine, life-saving medications like emetine, which can treat oral intoxication, and the widely popular anticancer compounds like vincristine and vinblastine. Here we discuss different types of alkaloids that were isolated and explored in the preclinical trials, as well as various cancer metabolic pathways and how various alkaloids are proven to influence them.