Cancer is a group of related diseases in which there is uncontrolled cell growth that spreads to the surrounding tissues and damages them. Cancer remains the disease with the leading cause of death worldwide, and incidence and mortality are increasing rapidly. The main cancer treatment is chemotherapy; however, the compounds used in this treatment have serious side effects for this reason, is necessary to develop new therapeutic strategies. Natural products are an excellent pharmacological alternative for the treatment of cancer and infections. In search of new compounds with cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity, we have found quinones that have a high pharmacological potency in the treatment of these health problems. Quinones are an aromatic system of one or diketone and are mainly isolated from plants, fungi, bacteria, and other organisms. These compounds are secondary metabolites derived from the oxidation of hydroquinones; they include benzoquinones, naphthoquinones, anthraquinones, and polyquinones. This review summarizes the activity of 152 anticancer and 30 antimicrobial quinones.
Part of the book: Cytotoxicity