Published online Aug 10, 2014. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v5.i3.348
Revised: May 14, 2014
Accepted: June 10, 2014
Published online: August 10, 2014
Core tip: This review examines the biological properties of coumarins by considering their beneficial effects in the prevention of some diseases and as anti-cancer agents. The attention is mainly focused on the effects of psoralens on human breast cancer as they are able to influence many aspects of cell behavior. More recently, it has been reported that these drugs in breast cancer cells are capable of antagonizing some metabolizing enzymes, to affect estrogen receptor stability and to counteract cell invasiveness as well as cancer drug resistance.