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Melatonin in pathogenesis and therapy of cancer *

Melatonin is a neuroendocrine hormone secreted by the pineal gland to transduce the body's circadian rhythms. An internal 24 hour time keeping system (biological clock) regulated by melatonin, controls the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production is a highly conserved evolutionary phenomenon. The indole hormone is synthesized in the pinealocytes derived from photoreceptors.

Altered patterns and/or levels of melatonin secretion have been reported to coincide with sleep disorders, jetlag, depression, stress, reproductive activities, some forms of cancer and immunological disorders. Lately, the physiological and pathological role of melatonin has become a priority area of investigation, particularly in breast cancer, melanoma, colon cancer, lung cancer and leukemia.

 According to the 'melatonin hypothesis' of cancer, the exposure to light at night (LAN) and anthropogenic electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) is related to the increased incidence of breast cancer and childhood leukaemia via melatonin disruption. Melatonin's hypothermic, antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties, attribute it to an immunomodulator and an oncostatic agent as well.

 Many clinical studies have envisaged the potential therapeutic role of melatonin in various pathophysiological disorders, particularly cancer. A substantial reduction in risk of death and low adverse effects were reported from various randomized controlled trials of melatonin treatment in cancer patients.

 This review summarizes the physiological significance of melatonin and its potential role in cancer therapy. Furthermore, the article focuses on melatonin hypothesis to represent the cause-effect relationship of the three aspects: EMF, LAN and cancer.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 01-13-2008