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Planta Med. 2011 Jan;77(1):54-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250055. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Tea tree oil might combat melanoma.

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Department of Technology and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


In this study we present new data from experiments focused on the antitumor activity of tea tree oil (TTO), an essential oil distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia. TTO proved to be capable of inhibiting the growth of melanoma cells and of overcoming multidrug resistance (MDR), as we reported in our previous study. Moreover, the survival role of the MDR-marker P-glycoprotein appears to be involved in the mechanism of invasion of melanoma cells. The results reported herein indicate that TTO and its main active component, terpinen-4-ol, can also interfere with the migration and invasion processes of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant melanoma cells.

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