Chemoprotective and chemosensitizing effects of apigenin on cancer therapy

Zahra Nozhat, Shabnam Heydarzadeh, Zahra Memariani, Amirhossein Ahmadi
2021 Cancer Cell International  
Background Therapeutic resistance to radiation and chemotherapy is one of the major obstacles in cancer treatment. Although synthetic radiosensitizers are pragmatic solution to enhance tumor sensitivity, they pose concerns of toxicity and non-specificity. In the last decades, scientists scrutinized novel plant-derived radiosensitizers and chemosensitizers, such as flavones, owing to their substantial physiological effects like low toxicity and non-mutagenic properties on the human cells. The
more » ... bination therapy with apigenin is potential candidate in cancer therapeutics. This review explicates the combinatorial strategies involving apigenin to overcome drug resistance and boost the anti-cancer properties. Methods We selected full-text English papers on international databases like PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus, and ScienceDirect from 1972 up to 2020. The keywords included in the search were: Apigenin, Chemoprotective, Chemosensitizing, Side Effects, and Molecular Mechanisms. Results In this review, we focused on combination therapy, particularly with apigenin augmenting the anti-cancer effects of chemo drugs on tumor cells, reduce their side effects, subdue drug resistance, and protect healthy cells. The reviewed research data implies that these co-therapies exhibited a synergistic effect on various cancer cells, where apigenin sensitized the chemo drug through different pathways including a significant reduction in overexpressed genes, AKT phosphorylation, NFκB, inhibition of Nrf2, overexpression of caspases, up-regulation of p53 and MAPK, compared to the monotherapies. Meanwhile, contrary to the chemo drugs alone, combined treatments significantly induced apoptosis in the treated cells. Conclusion Briefly, our analysis proposed that the combination therapies with apigenin could suppress the unwanted toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents. It is believed that these expedient results may pave the path for the development of drugs with a high therapeutic index. Nevertheless, human clinical trials are a prerequisite to consider the potential use of apigenin in the prevention and treatment of various cancers. Conclusively, the clinical trials to comprehend the role of apigenin as a chemoprotective agent are still in infancy. Graphical Abstract
doi:10.1186/s12935-021-02282-3 pmid:34715860 fatcat:b4zvnvms2rdifo5jid6qwhyzyy