Melatonin as a radio-sensitizer in cancer

18 de August de 2020

The research group "Melatonin and Breast Cancer" of IDIVAL has recently published in the journal Biomedicines, with impact factor Q1, the article "Melatonin as a Radio-Sensitizer in Cancer".

Radiotherapy is one of the treatments of choice in many types of cancer. Adjuvant treatments to radiotherapy try, on one hand, to enhance the response of tumor cells to radiation and, on the other hand, to reduce the side effects to normal cells. Radiosensitizers are agents that increase the effect of radiation in tumor cells by trying not to increase side effects in normal tissues. Melatonin is a hormone produced mainly by the pineal gland which has an important role in the regulation of cancer growth, especially in hormone-dependent mammary tumors. Different studies have showed that melatonin administered with radiotherapy is able to enhance its therapeutic effects and can protect normal cells against side effects of this treatment.

The published article is a review of Several mechanisms are involved in the radiosensitization induced by melatonin: increase of reactive oxygen species production, modulation of proteins involved in estrogen biosynthesis, impairment of tumor cells to DNA repair, modulation of angiogenesis, abolition of inflammation, induction of apoptosis, stimulation of preadipocytes differentiation and modulation of metabolism. Several of these mechanisms have already been described in previous articles by the research group in recent years.

Among the research objectives of the group "Melatonin and Breast Cancer" led by Dr. Samuel Cos Corral, is to study the sensitization by melatonin of tumor cells to radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Ref. Melatonin as a Radio-Sensitizer in Cancer. Carolina Alonso-González, Alicia González, Javier Menéndez-Menéndez, Carlos Martínez-Campa, Samuel Cos. Review Biomedicines. 2020 Jul 27;8(8):E247. Doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8080247. PMID: 32726912