Potential use of melatonin in skin cancer treatment: A review of current biological evidence

Mohammad Hossein Pourhanifeh, Mostafa Mahdavinia, Russel J. Reiter, Zatollah Asemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Skin cancer, particularly melanoma, is a leading cause of death worldwide. The therapeutic methods for this malignancy are not effective, and due to the side effects of these treatments, applying an appropriate alternative or complementary treatment is important. According to available data, melatonin as the main product of the pineal gland has oncostatic and antitumoral properties. Also, melatonin acts as an anti-inflammatory and reactive oxygen species inducer agent which suppresses the growth of tumors. It also has apoptosis induction characteristics through regulating signaling pathways, including heat shock protein 70, nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 and others. Thus, adding melatonin to chemo- and radiotherapy may have synergistic therapeutic effects and increase the survival time in patients with skin cancer. Few clinical studies have evaluated the efficacy of melatonin in skin cancer. Based on the related mechanisms, this review discusses about how melatonin may improve outcomes in skin cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12142-12148
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Melatonin
  • malignancy
  • melanoma
  • skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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