Saudi Pharm J. 2019 Dec ;27(8):1113-1126. Epub 2019 Sep 25. PMID: 31885471
Thymoquinone (2-Isoprpyl-5-methyl-1, 4-benzoquinone) as a chemopreventive/anticancer agent: Chemistry and biological effects.
Cancer remains the topmost disorders of the mankind and number of cases is unceasingly growing at unprecedented rates. Although the synthetic anti-cancer compounds still hold the largest market in the modern treatment of cancer, natural agents have always been tried and tested for potential anti-cancer properties. Thymoquinone (TQ), a monoterpene and main ingredient in the essential oil ofhas got very eminent rankings in the traditional systems of medicine for its anti-cancer pharmacological properties. In this review we summarized the diverse aspects of TQ including its chemistry, biosynthesis, sources and pharmacological properties with a major concern being attributed to its anti-cancer efficacies. The role of TQ in different aspects involved in the pathogenesis of cancer like inflammation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, proliferation, invasion and migration have been described. The mechanism of action of TQ in different cancer types has been briefly accounted. Other safety and toxicological aspects and some combination therapies involving TQ have also been touched. A detailed literature search was carried out using various online search engines like google scholar and pubmed regarding the available research and review accounts on thymoquinone upto may 2019. All the articles reporting significant addition to the activities of thymoquinone were selected. Additional information was acquired from ethno botanical literature focusing on thymoquinone. The compound has been the centre of attention for a long time period and researched regularly in quite considerable numbers for its various physicochemical, medicinal, biological and pharmacological perspectives. Thymoquinone is studied for various chemical and pharmacological activities and demonstrated promising anti-cancer potential. The reviewed reports confirmed the strong anti-cancer efficacy of thymoquinone. Furtherandresearch is strongly warranted regarding the complete exploration of thymoquinone in ethnopharmacological context.