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Progress in Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Antitumour Effects of Ivermectin

Authors , Zhang K, Cheng L, Zhu H, Xu T

Received 5 November 2019

Accepted for publication 30 December 2019

Published 21 January 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 285—296


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind乐动体育西班牙人

Peer reviewer comments乐动体育西班牙人 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianbo Sun

Jian Liu, Kun Zhang, Lin Cheng, He Zhu, Tianmin Xu

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jilin University Second Hospital, ChangChun 130041, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Tianmin Xu
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jilin University Second Hospital, ChangChun 130041, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-13384306222

Abstract: Ivermectin, a dihydro derivative of avermectin (AVM), was introduced into the veterinary, agricultural and aquaculture markets for animal health in 1981. Ivermectin was soon adopted in 1987 as a human medicine that was originally used for the treatment of onchocerciasis, a parasitic infection. Since then, ivermectin has also been used to control other human diseases and has exerted a significant effect on human health and welfare. In the past decade, many published studies have attempted to determine the role of ivermectin in cancer. In this review, we summarize the published studies to define the current progress in the characterization of ivermectin. Ivermectin causes cell death in cancer cell lines by inducing PAK1-mediated cytostatic autophagy, caspase-dependent apoptosis and immunogenic cell death (ICD) through the modulation of some pathways, including the WNT-T cell factor (TCF), Hippo and Akt/mTOR pathways. Ivermectin can affect the growth and proliferation of cancer cells and plays several different roles, such as its functions as an RNA helicase, a small-molecule mimetic of the surface-induced dissociation (SID) peptide, an activator of chloride channel receptors, and an inducer of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. In addition, ivermectin induces the multidrug resistance protein (MDR), has potent anti-mitotic activity, targets angiogenesis and inhibits cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Many studies have proven that ivermectin exerts antitumour effects and might thus benefit patients with cancer after sufficient clinical trials.

Keywords: ivermectin, cancer, molecular mechanisms, antitumour effects, drug therapy

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