Melatonin, experimental basis for a possible application in breast cancer prevention and treatment


Cos S




Histol Histopathol


The role of the pineal as an oncostatic gland has been studied in animal models of tumorigenesis, especially on those concerning the mammary gland. The general conclusion is that experimental manipulations activating pineal gland, or the administration of melatonin, reduce the incidence and growth rate of chemically-induced murine mammary tumors, while pinealectomy or situations which implicate a reduction of melatonin production usually stimulate mammary carcinogenesis. The direct actions of melatonin on mammary tumors have been suggested because of its ability to inhibit, at physiological doses (1nM), the in vitro proliferation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. In this article we review the outstanding findings related to melatonin actions on mammary which, taken together, support a possible usefulness of this indoleamine in the prevention and treatment of mammary gland malignancy.