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Insights on Melatonin as an Active Pharmacological Molecule in Cancer Prevention: What’s New?

[ Vol. 26 , Issue. 34 ]


Geir Bjørklund*, Samiul Alam Rajib , Nadia Saffoon, Joeri J. Pen and Salvatore Chirumbolo   Pages 6304 - 6320 ( 17 )


Along with playing an important role in circadian rhythm, melatonin is thought to play a significant role in preventing cells from damage, as well as in the inhibition of growth and in triggering apoptosis in malignant cells. Its relationship with circadian rhythms, energetic homeostasis, diet, and metabolism, is fundamental to achieve a better comprehension of how melatonin has been considered a chemopreventive molecule, though very few papers dealing with this issue. In this article, we tried to review the most recent evidence regarding the protective as well as the antitumoral mechanisms of melatonin, as related to diet and metabolic balance. From different studies, it was evident that an intracellular antioxidant defense mechanism is activated by upregulating an antioxidant gene battery in the presence of high-dose melatonin in malignant cells. Like other broad-spectrum antioxidant molecules, melatonin plays a vital role in killing tumor cells, preventing metastasis, and simultaneously keeping normal cells protected from oxidative stress and other types of tissue damage.


Melatonin, antioxidant, apoptosis, breast cancer, metastasis, oxidative stress.


Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, Mo i Rana, Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University, Dhaka, Department of Pharmacy and Forensic Science, Faculty of Life Science and Medicine, King's College London, London, Diabetes Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona

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