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Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 18;8(31):51907-51919. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.17206. eCollection 2017 Aug 1.

Thymoquinone, as an anticancer molecule: from basic research to clinical investigation.

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Key Laboratory of Epigenetics and Oncology, The Research Center for Preclinical Medicine, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, China.
Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Division of Computer Aided Drug Design, The Red-Green Computing Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Honors College, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States.


Thymoquinone is an anticancer phytochemical commonly found in black cumin. In this review, we discuss the potential of thymoquinone as anticancer molecule, its mechanism of action and future usage in clinical applications. Thymoquinone exhibits anticancer activity via numerous mechanisms of action, specifically by showing selective antioxidant and oxidant activity, interfering with DNA structure, affecting carcinogenic signaling molecules/pathways and immunomodulation. In vitro activity of thymoquinone has been further implicated in animal models of cancer; however, no clinical application has been proven yet. This is the optimum time to focus on clinical trials for developing thymoquinone as a future drug in cancer therapeutics.


Nigella sativa; anticancer; clinical studies; mouse model; thymoquinone

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CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declare that there is no conflicts of interest regarding this paper.

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