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Carotenoids in Cancer Apoptosis—The Road from Bench to Bedside and Back

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-06-30, 11:26 and posted on 2024-06-30, 11:26 authored by Lenka Koklesova, Alena Liskova, Marek Samec, Constanze Buhrmann, Samson Mathews Samuel, Elizabeth Varghese, Milad Ashrafizadeh, Masoud Najafi, Mehdi Shakibaei, Dietrich Büsselberg, Frank A. Giordano, Olga Golubnitschaja, Peter Kubatka

An incidence and mortality of cancer are rapidly growing worldwide, especially due to heterogeneous character of the disease that is associated with irreversible impairment of cellular homeostasis and function. Targeting apoptosis, one of cancer hallmarks, represents a potent cancer treatment strategy. Carotenoids are phytochemicals represented by carotenes, xanthophylls, and derived compounds such as apocarotenoids that demonstrate a broad spectrum of anti-cancer effects involving pro-apoptotic signaling through extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. As demonstrated in preclinical oncology research, the apoptotic modulation is performed at post-genomic levels. Further, carotenoids demonstrate additive/synergistic action in combination with conventional oncostatic agents. In addition, a sensitization of tumor cells to anti-cancer conventional treatment can be achieved by carotenoids. The disadvantage of anti-cancer application of carotenoids is associated with their low solubility and, therefore, poor bioavailability. However, this deficiency can be improved by using nanotechnological approaches, solid dispersions, microemulsions or biofortification that significantly increase the anti-cancer and pro-apoptotic efficacy of carotenoids. Only limited number of studies dealing with apoptotic potential of carotenoids has been published in clinical sphere. Pro-apoptotic effects of carotenoids should be beneficial for individuals at high risk of cancer development. The article considers the utility of carotenoids in the framework of 3P medicine.

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Published in: Cancers
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Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP11S-1214-170101), Anti-diabetic drugs in the treatment of breast cancer - identifying the molecular mechanism(s) and key biomarker(s).



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2020

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar