Eur J Med Chem. 2020 Feb 1 ;187:111951. Epub 2019 Dec 4. PMID: 31821990
Potential cytotoxic and anti-metastatic effects of berberine on gynaecological cancers with drug-associated resistance.
Gynaecological disorders, such as cervical, ovarian, and endometrial cancers are the second most prevalent cancer types in women worldwide. Therapeutic approaches for gynaecological cancers involve chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. However, lifespan is not improved, and novel medications are required. Among various phytochemicals, berberine, a well-known natural product, has been shown to be a promising cancer chemopreventive agent. Pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of berberine have been investigated in the several experiments against numerous diseases. Here, we aimed to provide a literature review from available published investigations showing the anticancer effects of berberine and its various synthetic analogues against gynaecological disorders, including cervical, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. In conclusion, berberine has been found to efficiently inhibit viability, proliferation, and migration of cancer cells, mainly, via induction of apoptosis by both mitochondrial dependent and -independent pathways. Additionally, structural modification of berberine showed that berberine analogues can improve its antitumor effects against gynaecological cancers.