Williams Cancer Institute


Quercetin is a plant flavonoid found in fresh fruits, vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, teas, red wine, and different plants. It is a common phytochemical with antioxidant, anti-diabetes, anti-ulcer, anti-allergy, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects and gastro-protection, immune-modulation, and cardiovascular protection. Its anti-cancer activity is controlled by signaling pathways within the cancer cell; these pathways include apoptotic, P53, and NF-kB; it activates caspase-3, reduces VEGF secretion inhibiting cancer cell metastasis, it leads to cancer cell apoptosis by decreasing bioenergy and targeting mitochondria and controls the activity of oncogenic and tumor suppressor ncRNAs.

Many studies have focused on the anti-cancer properties of this compound and found that Quercetin can inhibit a broad range of cancers, such as breast, lung, nasopharyngeal, kidney, colorectal, prostate, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers.

With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it helps protect cells from oxidative stress and reduces inflammation, which is implicated in cancer development and progression.

Research indicates that quercetin can interfere with the initiation, promotion, and progression of carcinogenesis by modulating various signaling pathways and molecular targets involved in cancer formation. Quercetin has also been investigated for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in cancer treatment. It may act synergistically with certain anticancer drugs, making them more potent and improving their efficacy while reducing their associated side effects.

It’s important to note that while the preclinical studies on quercetin have shown promising results, more research is needed to understand its full potential in human cancer treatment. Human clinical trials are necessary to determine quercetin’s safety, optimal dosage, and efficacy as an anticancer agent. Furthermore, it’s crucial to remember that quercetin should not be considered a standalone cancer treatment.

Reference: Parina Asgharian, Abbas Pirpour Tazekand,  Kamran Hosseini, Haleh Forouhandeh, Tohid Ghasemnejad, Maryam Ranjbar, , Potential mechanisms of quercetin in cancer prevention: focus on cellular and molecular targets, https://cancerci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12935-022-02677-w

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