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Systematic Review Article

The Radioprotective Potentials of Silymarin/Silibinin Against Radiotherapy- Induced Toxicities: A Systematic Review of Clinical and Experimental Studies

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 33 ]


Gloria Alexandra Latacela, Pushpamala Ramaiah*, Indrajit Patra, Abduladheem Turki Jalil*, Reena Gupta, Fakhriddin Akhmadovich Madaminov, Shafik Shaker Shafik, Moaed Emran Al-Gazally, Mohammad Javed Ansari, Mahmoud Kandeel, Yasser Fakri Mustafa and Bagher Farhood*   Pages 3775 - 3797 ( 23 )


Background: Although radiotherapy is one of the main cancer treatment modalities, exposing healthy organs/tissues to ionizing radiation during treatment can lead to different adverse effects. In this regard, it has been shown that the use of radioprotective agents may alleviate the ionizing radiation-induced toxicities.

Objective: The present study aims to review the radioprotective potentials of silymarin/silibinin in the prevention/reduction of ionizing radiation-induced adverse effects on healthy cells/tissues.

Methods: Based on PRISMA guidelines, a comprehensive and systematic search was performed for identifying relevant literature on the “potential protective role of silymarin/silibinin in the treatment of radiotherapy-induced toxicities” in the different electronic databases of Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus up to April 2022. Four hundred and fifty-five articles were obtained and screened in accordance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the current study. Finally, 19 papers were included in this systematic review.

Results: The findings revealed that the ionizing radiation-treated groups had reduced survival rates and body weight in comparison with the control groups. It was also found that radiation can induce mild to severe adverse effects on the skin, digestive, hematologic, lymphatic, respiratory, reproductive, and urinary systems. Nevertheless, the administration of silymarin/silibinin could mitigate the ionizing radiation-induced adverse effects in most cases. This herbal agent exerts its radioprotective effects through anti-oxidant, anti-apoptosis, anti-inflammatory activities, and other mechanisms.

Conclusion: The results of the current systematic review showed that co-treatment of silymarin/silibinin with radiotherapy alleviates the radiotherapy-induced adverse effects in healthy cells/tissues


Cancer, radiotherapy, silymarin, silibinin, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptosis, anti-inflammatory.


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