Melatonin as a Promising Agent for Cancer Treatment: Insights into its Effects on the Wnt/beta-catenin Signaling Pathway

Amirhossein Davoodvandi, Reza Asemi, Mehran Sharifi, Russel J. Reiter, Seyed Amirhassan Matini, Seyyed Mehdi Mirhashemi, Zatollah Asemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, substantial advances have been made in cancer treatment mo-dalities. Yet, within the last three decades, neither cancer incidence nor the cancer-in-duced mortality rate has changed. Available anti-cancer chemotherapeutics possess re-markably restricted effectiveness and often have severe adverse effects. Hence, the identi-fication of novel pharmaceutical agents that do not exhibit these major disadvantages is imperative. Melatonin, an important endogenous molecule synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland, is a promising chemical agent that has been comprehensively assessed over the last decades for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Melatonin is re-portedly a significant inhibitor of cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. The anti--cancer potential of melatonin is principally mediated by reversing the up-regulated amounts of different transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other oncogenic agents. Also, melatonin often has signifcant inhibitory effects on cancer cell proliferation through either promoting apoptosis or inducing cell cy-cle arrest. The current review provides an insight into melatonin-induced effects against various human cancers with a particular focus on the regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1331
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Melatonin
  • Wnt/β-catenin
  • cancer
  • cell
  • chemotherapeutics
  • signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Organic Chemistry


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