Background: Anthraquinones are a possible treatment option for oncological patients due to their anti-cancer properties. Cancer patients often exhaust a plethora of resources that ultimately fail to provide fully curative measures. Alternative treatments are subsequently sought in the hope of finding a therapeutic remedy. Potential regimens include aloe-emodin and its related derivatives. This review therefore summarizes the effects of aloe-emodin and other aloe components in light of their anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Methods: A systematic search was performed in PubMed for aloe-emodin and cancer in humans. Sixty ab-stracts of in vitro studies were selected and reviewed with subsequent screening of the full text. Thirty-eight articles were summarized. Results: Aloe-emodin possesses multiple anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic properties in a host of human cancer cell lines, with often multiple vital pathways affected by the same molecule. The most notable effects include inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, and invasion; cycle arrest; induction of cell death; mitochondrial membrane and redox perturbations; and modulation of immune signaling. The effects of al-oe-emodin are not ubiquitous across all cell lines but depend on cell type.
Conclusions: On the basis of this systematic review, the multiple consistent effects of aloe-emodin in hu-man-derived cancer cell lines suggest that aloe-emodin is a potential anti-cancer agent that acts on cancer cells in a pleiotropic manner.
Relevance for patients: Cancer patients often utilize alternative therapies as a result of suboptimal efficacy of conventional treatments. Aloe-emodin might become a therapeutic option for cancer patients if the basic research is confirmed in clinical trials.
1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
2 Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
3 Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
John E. Lewis
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
Tel: +1 305-243-6227
Department of Experimental Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands