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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 27-37

Natural products against cancer: A comprehensive bibliometric study of the research projects, publications, patents and drugs

Institute of Medical Information and Library, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Xiaoli L Tang
Institute of Medical information and Library, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing-10005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.139750

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Objectives: To analyze multi-source data including awards, publications, patents and drugs, and try to draw the whole landscape of the research and development community in the area of natural products (NPs) against cancer. Materials and Methods: Awards, publications, patents and drugs data from National Institute of Health/Natural Science Foundation of China (NIH/NSFC), PubMed, Derwent Innovation Index and Cortellis were collected. Bibliometric methodologies and technology are used to investigate publications/patents/drugs, their contents and relationships. Results: NIH and NSFC respectively demonstrated a stable and sustained expenditure growth in this area. The number of publications is continuously increasing. Yet the annual patent applications worldwide and FDA drug approvals were little changed or not obviously fluctuated in 2003-2013. USA and several Asia-pacific countries/territories are important contributing powers. We described the evolution of major research topics by those MeSH Major Topics indexed in PubMed with the largest growth range in three intervals, and analyzed hot research topics in the recent 10 years which include NPs or NPs derivatives, cell line/animal model, laboratory technologies and activation mechanisms. Conclusions: China published the most publications and received the most patent applications, but drug discovery performance is no better than USA and Japan. Research on anti-neoplastic structures and compounds originated from Chinese traditional medicine (TCM), medicinal plants, herbal medicine and marine NPs are major research topics in the recent 10 years. There still exits translational gap between basic research and drug discovery. Translational research should be undertaken to strengthen the applicability of NPs.

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