Melatonin is well known to affect circadian rhythm and sleep but laboratory studies show a wide spectrum of biological effects including a powerful antioxidant and stimulant for the immune system. Circadian rhythm disruption has been associated with disorders such as depression, heart disease and cancer development and progression (Sahar, 2009).
A total of 19 studies consisting of 21 separate clinical trials were included in a systematic review of melatonin and all cancer treatments spanning almost 3,700 patients. It was concluded in Seely et al., that melatonin may do these when added as adjunct therapy to standard cancer care:
But how does it work against cancer? Diverse mechanisms of anticancer effects are tied to melatonin’s use including apoptosis induction, angiogenesis inhibition, immune evasion and altered cancer metabolism (Wamidh, 2018).
- Safely increase 1-year survival rates
- Safely increase response rates
- Alleviate the toxicity related to chemotherapy
- Improve cancer-related symptoms
Attacking cancer head on requires a multifactorial process and there is no time to wait. Incorporating multiple ways including but not limited to dietary modifications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and supplements will combat cancer. However, it is important to discuss all these options with your doctor.
Sahar, S., & Sassone‐Corsi, P. (2009). Metabolism and cancer: The circadian clock connection. Nature Reviews Cancer, 9 (12), 886 – 896. https://doi-org.ezp.twu.edu/10.1038/nrc2747.
Seely, D., Wu, P. & Fritz, H. (2011). Melatonin as Adjuvant Cancer Care with and without Chemotherapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 11 (4) 293-303.
Talib, W. H. (2018). Melatonin and cancer hallmarks. Molecules, 23(3), 518. doi http://dx.doi.org.ezp.twu.edu/10.3390/molecules23030518