New insights into antimetastatic signaling pathways of melatonin in skeletomuscular sarcoma of childhood and adolescence

Ko Hsiu Lu, Chiao Wen Lin, Yi Hsien Hsieh, Shih Chi Su, Russel J. Reiter, Shun Fa Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Melatonin is an indole produced by the pineal gland at night under normal light or dark conditions, and its levels, which are higher in children than in adults, begin to decrease prior to the onset of puberty and continue to decline thereafter. Apart from circadian regulatory actions, melatonin has significant apoptotic, angiogenic, oncostatic, and antiproliferative effects on various cancer cells. Particularly, the ability of melatonin to inhibit skeletomuscular sarcoma, which most commonly affects children, teenagers, and young adults, is substantial. In the past few decades, the vast majority of references have focused on the concept of epithelial–mesenchymal transition involvement in invasion and migration to allow carcinoma cells to dissociate from each other and to degrade the extracellular matrix. Recently, researchers have applied this idea to sarcoma cells of mesenchymal origin, e.g., osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, with their ability to initiate the invasion-metastasis cascade. Similarly, interest of the effects of melatonin has shifted from carcinomas to sarcomas. Herein, in this state-of-the-art review, we compiled the knowledge related to the molecular mechanism of antimetastatic actions of melatonin on skeletomuscular sarcoma as in childhood and during adolescence. Utilization of melatonin as an adjuvant with chemotherapeutic drugs for synergy and fortification of the antimetastatic effects for the reinforcement of therapeutic actions are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-320
Number of pages18
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Adolescence
  • Childhood
  • Melatonin
  • Metastasis
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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