Evolution of 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)indoline-2-one as a scaffold for potent and selective anticancer activity
Development of targeted anticancer modalities has prompted a new era in cancer treatment that is notably different from the age of radical surgery and highly toxic chemotherapy. Behind each effective compound is a rich and complex history from first identification of chemical matter, detailed optimization, and mechanistic investigations, ultimately leading to exciting molecules for drug development. Herein we review the history and on-going journey of one such anticancer scaffold, the 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)indoline-2-ones. With humble beginnings in 19th century Bavaria, we review this scaffold's synthetic history and anticancer optimization, including its recent demonstration of tumor eradication of drug-resistant, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Compounds containing the 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)indoline-2-one pharmacophore are emerging as intriguing candidates for the treatment of cancer.