Tea tree oil might combat melanoma

Planta Med. 2011 Jan;77(1):54-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250055. Epub 2010 Jun 17.


In this study we present new data from experiments focused on the antitumor activity of tea tree oil (TTO), an essential oil distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia. TTO proved to be capable of inhibiting the growth of melanoma cells and of overcoming multidrug resistance (MDR), as we reported in our previous study. Moreover, the survival role of the MDR-marker P-glycoprotein appears to be involved in the mechanism of invasion of melanoma cells. The results reported herein indicate that TTO and its main active component, terpinen-4-ol, can also interfere with the migration and invasion processes of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant melanoma cells.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytostatic Agents / chemistry
  • Cytostatic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Cytostatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Melaleuca / chemistry
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Tea Tree Oil / chemistry
  • Tea Tree Oil / isolation & purification
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytostatic Agents
  • Tea Tree Oil