Vol 50, No 1 (2012)
Review paper
Published online: 2012-04-25

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The anticancer activity of propolis

Diana Sawicka, Halina Car, Maria Halina Borawska, Jacek Nikliński
DOI: 10.5603/FHC.2012.0004
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012;50(1):25-37.


Propolis and its compounds have been the subject of many studies due to their antimicrobial and antiinflammatory activity; however, it is now known that they also possess antitumor properties. This review aims to summarize the results of studies on the mechanism of activity of propolis and its active compounds such as CAPE and chrysin in the apoptotic process, and their influence on the proliferation of cancer cells. Our review shows that propolis and its presented compounds induce apoptosis pathways in cancer cells. The antiproliferative effects of propolis, CAPE or chrysin in cancer cells are the result of the suppression of complexes of cyclins, as well as cell cycle arrest. The results of in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that propolis, CAPE and chrysin may inhibit tumor cell progression and may be useful as potential chemotherapeutic or chemopreventive anticancer drugs.

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