Melatonin, mitochondria, and the cancer cell

Published on Friday, 11 August 2017


The long-recognized fact that oxidative stress within mitochondria is a hallmark of mitochondrial dysfunction has stimulated the development of mitochondria-targeted antioxidant therapies.

Melatonin should be included among the pharmacological agents able to modulate mitochondrial functions in cancer, given that a number of relevant melatonin-dependent effects are triggered by targeting mitochondrial functions.

Indeed, melatonin may modulate the mitochondrial respiratory chain, thus antagonizing the cancer highly glycolytic bioenergetic pathway of cancer cells.

Modulation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, together with Ca2+ release and mitochondrial apoptotic effectors, may enhance the spontaneous or drug-induced apoptotic processes.

Given that melatonin may efficiently counteract the Warburg effect while stimulating mitochondrial differentiation and mitochondrial-based apoptosis, it is argued that the pineal neurohormone could represent a promising new perspective in cancer treatment strategy.



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See also:

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- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonisn, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.