There is persuasive epidemiological and experimental evidence that dietary phytochemicals have anticancer activity. Capsaicin is a bioactive phytochemical abundant in red and chili peppers. While the preponderance of the data strongly indicates significant anticancer benefits of capsaicin, more information to highlight molecular mechanisms of its action is required to improve our knowledge to be able to propose a potential therapeutic strategy for use of capsaicin against cancer. Capsaicin has been shown to alter the expression of several genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth arrest, angiogenesis and metastasis. Recently, many research groups, including ours, found that capsaicin targets multiple signaling pathways, oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes in various types of cancer models. In this review article, we highlight multiple molecular targets responsible for the anticancer mechanism of capsaicin. In addition, we deal with the benefits of combinational use of capsaicin with other dietary or chemotherapeutic compounds, focusing on synergistic anticancer activities.
Keywords: Capsaicin; angiogenesis; apoptosis; cell cycle; metastasis; review.
Copyright© 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.