Quercetin: a natural compound for ovarian cancer treatment

J Ovarian Res. 2019 Jun 15;12(1):55. doi: 10.1186/s13048-019-0530-4.


Ovarian cancer is the main cause of death among all reproductive cancers in females. In 2018, ovarian cancer was the seventh most common cancer of women entire the world. A wide variety of molecular and genetic alterations as well as different response to therapies in the different types of ovarian cancer lead to problems in design a common therapeutic strategy. Besides, ovarian cancer cells have tendency to acquire resistance to common cancer treatments through multiple mechanisms. Various factors, including cytokines, growth factors, proteases, adhesion molecules, coagulation factors, hormones and apoptotic agents have been examined to find effective cancer treatment. Phytochemicals have been indicated to have great potential anti-cancer properties against various types of cancers. Quercetin is one of the phytochemicals that exists extensively in daily foods. Wide evidences revealed that quercetin is able to inhibit various types of cancers including breast, lung, nasopharyngeal, kidney, colorectal, prostate, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer. Several in vitro and in vivo studied conducted to evaluate cytotoxic effects of quercetin on ovarian cancer. Since quercetin does not harm healthy cells and it is cytotoxic to cancer cells via various mechanisms, researchers suggest that it could be an ideal agent for ovarian cancer treatment or an adjuvant agent in combination with other anti-cancer drugs. Thus, in this review, we focused on chemo-preventive and curative attitude of quercetin for ovarian cancer and summarize some of the most recent findings which regard the possible molecular mechanisms by which this natural compound inhibits this cancer.

Keywords: Genetic alterations; Ovarian cancer; Quercetin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Carcinogenesis / drug effects
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Quercetin / therapeutic use*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Quercetin