Cancer Biology Laboratory, DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB), Department of Biosciences & Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam 781039, India. [Email]
Cancer is still a major risk factor to public health globally, causing approximately 9.8 million deaths worldwide in 2018. Despite advances in conventional treatment modalities for cancer treatment, there are still few effective therapies available due to the lack of selectivity, adverse side effects, non-specific toxicities, and tumour recurrence. Therefore, there is an immediate need for essential alternative therapeutics, which can prove to be beneficial and safe against cancer. Various phytochemicals from natural sources have been found to exhibit beneficial medicinal properties against various human diseases. Zerumbone is one such compound isolated from Zingiber zerumbet Smith that possesses diverse pharmacological properties including those of antioxidant, antibacterial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, as well as anti-neoplastic. Zerumbone has shown its anti-cancer effects by causing significant suppression of proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis through the molecular modulation of different pathways such as NF-κB, Akt, and IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 (interleukin-6/janus kinase-2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and their downstream target proteins. The current review briefly summarizes the modes of action and therapeutic potential of zerumbone against various cancers.