College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Melatonin and Breast Cancer: A Review of Clinical Studies, Cellular Mechanisms and Future Perspectives

ISBN or ISSN

1462-3994

Publication Title

Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine

Volume

11

Publication Date / Copyright Date

2-1-2009

DOI Number

10.1017/S1462399409000982

Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that the pineal hormone melatonin may protect against breast cancer, and the mechanisms underlying its actions are becoming clearer. Melatonin works through receptors and distinct second messenger pathways to reduce cellular proliferation and to induce cellular differentiation. In addition, independently of receptors melatonin can modulate oestrogen-dependent pathways and reduce free-radical formation, thus preventing mutation and cellular toxicity. The fact that melatonin works through a myriad of signalling cascades that are protective to cells makes this hormone a good candidate for use in the clinic for the prevention and/or treatment of cancer. This review summarises cellular mechanisms governing the action of melatonin and then considers the potential use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment, with an emphasis on improving clinical outcomes.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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Peer Reviewed

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