Cancer: Thymoquinone antioxidant/pro-oxidant effect as potential anticancer remedy

Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Jul:115:108783. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108783. Epub 2019 May 3.


Recently, there is growing interest in the natural bioactive components having anticancer activity. Thymoquinone (TQ), the principle active constituent of black seed (Nigella sativa), has promising properties including anticancer and chemosensitizing peculiarities. The anticancer power of TQ is accomplished by several aspects; including promotion of apoptosis, arrest of cell cycle and ROS generation. In addition, it boosts the immune system and lessens the side effects associated with traditional anticancer therapy. TQ also controls angiogenesis and cancer metastasis. This review focuses on the potential aspects and mechanisms by which TQ acquires its actions.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Anticancer; Apoptosis; Pro-oxidant; Thymoquinone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Benzoquinones / chemistry
  • Benzoquinones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Benzoquinones
  • thymoquinone