The sesquiterpene α-bisabolol in the adipocyte-cancer desmoplastic crosstalk: does it have an action on epithelial-mesenchymal transition mechanisms?

Int J Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr;22(2):222-228. doi: 10.1007/s10147-016-1072-z. Epub 2016 Dec 9.


Alpha-bisabolol is a plant-derived sesquiterpene alcohol recently associated with a supposed anti-cancer action due to its ability to induce BID-related apoptosis. The molecule, which enters the cell through lipid rafts, may also interact with kisspeptin receptor 1, which has recently been associated with tumor mobility and invasiveness. This evidence suggests the possibility that α-bisabolol might act on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition mechanism, closely associated with the desmoplastic reaction of adipose tissue surrounding a pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. This review addresses the issue on the basis of the most recent reported literature in the field.

Keywords: Adipocyte; Alpha-bisabolol; EMT mechanism; Pancreas cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Monocyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects*


  • Monocyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • bisabolol

Supplementary concepts

  • Pancreatic Carcinoma