Oncology reports

The distinct mechanisms of the antitumor activity of emodin in different types of cancer (Review).

PMID 24065213


Emodin, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a natural anthraquinone derivative found in the roots and rhizomes of numerous plants. The inhibitory effect of emodin on mammalian cell cycle modulation in specific oncogene-overexpressing cells has formed the basis for using this compound as an anticancer drug. Previous reviews have summarized the antitumor properties of emodin. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of emodin-mediated tumor inhibition have not been completely elucidated over the last 5 years. Recently, there has been great progress in the preclinical study of the anticancer mechanisms of emodin. Our recent study revealed that emodin has therapeutic effects on pancreatic cancer through various antitumor mechanisms. Notably, the therapeutic efficacy of emodin in combination with chemotherapy was found to be higher than the comparable single chemotherapeutic regime, and the combination therapy also exhibited fewer side-effects. Despite these encouraging results, further investigation is warranted as emodin has been shown to modulate one or more key regulators of cancer growth. This review provides an overview of the distinct mechanisms of anticancer action of emodin in different body systems identified over the past 5 years. These new breakthrough findings may have important implications for targeted cancer therapy and for the future clinical use of emodin.

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Emodin, analytical standard