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Melatonin as a multifunctional anti-cancer molecule: Implications in gastric cancer

Asghari, Mohammad Hossein, Moloudizargari, Milad, Ghobadi, Emad, Fallah, Marjan, Abdollahi, Mohammad
Life sciences 2017 v.185 pp. 38-45
adverse effects, angiogenesis, etiology, immunity, melatonin, metastasis, models, mortality, neoplasm cells, pathogenesis, patients, stomach neoplasms, therapeutics
Gastric cancer (GC) is a predominant malignancy with a high mortality rate affecting a large population worldwide. The etiology of GC is multifactorial spanning from various genetic determinants to different environmental causes. Current tretaments of GC are not efficient enough and require improvements to minimize the adverse effects. Melatonin, a naturally occurring compound with known potent inhibitory effects on cancer cells is one of the major candidates which can be recruited herein. Here we reviewed the articles conducted on the therapeutic effects of melatonin in gastric cancer in various models. The results are classified according to different aspects of cancer pathogenesis and the molecular mechanisms by which melatonin exerts its effects. Melatonin could be used to combat GC exploiting its effects on multiple aspects of its pathogenesis, including formation of cancer cells, tumor growth and angiogenesis, differentiation and metastasis as well as enhancing the anti-tumor immunity. Melatonin is a pleiotropic anti-cancer molecule that affects malignant cells via multiple mechanisms. It has been shown to benefit cancer patients indirectly by reducing side effects of current therapies which have been discussed in this review. This field of research is still underdeveloped and may serve as an interesting subject for further studies aiming at the molecular mechanisms of melatonin and novel treatments.