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Targeting Inflammatory Mediators: An Anticancer Mechanism of Thymoquinone Action


Zakia Akter, Faiza Rafa Ahmed, Mousumi Tania and Md. Asaduzzaman Khan*   Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )


Background: Thymoquinone is a promising anticancer molecule of which chemopreventive role is well-known at least in vitro and in animal model. In this review article, we have focused on the anti-inflammatory activities of thymoquionone in cancer cells.

Method: Research data on inflammation, cancer and thymoquinone was acquired from pubmed, scopus, web of science and google scholar. We have reviewed paper from the middle of last century, but mostly cited papers from last ten years.

Results: In addition to chemopreventive role, studies indicated that thymoquinone also have potential immunotherapeutic role, as thymoquinone can target and modulate inflammatory modulators, like nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κβ), interleukins, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and certain growth factors. As chronic inflammation plays role in cancer development, controlling inflammatory pathways is an important mechanism of immunotherapeutic action of anticancer molecule.

Conclusion: This article reviewed the role of inflammation on cancer development, and the action of thymoquinone on inflammatory molecules, which have been proved in vitro and in vivo. Much more attention is required for studying the immunotherapeutic role of thymoquinone and developing this molecule as future immunotherapeutic drug.


Thymoquinone, Cancer, Immunotherapeutics, Inflammation, NF-??, Inflammatory modulators


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Gono Bishwabidyalay, Dhaka, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, North South University, Dhaka, Division of Molecular Cancer, Red Green Research Center, Dhaka, The research center for preclinical medicine, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou

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