Synthesis of methyl 7-formylabieta-7,13-dien-18-oate was achieved by formylation of the abietic acid methyl ester under Vilsmeier-Haack conditions. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the abietic and dehydroabietic acid derivatives against the NCI-60 cancer cell line panel was also studied. The dehydroabietic acid aminopropargyles showed promising antitumor activity against leukemia CCRF-CEM and RPMI-8226 cancer cell lines.

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