Cancer persists as one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, contributing to approximately 9.6 million deaths per annum in recent years. Despite the numerous advancements in cancer treatment, there is still abundant scope to mitigate recurrence, adverse side effects and toxicities caused by existing pharmaceutical drugs. To achieve this, many phytochemicals from plants and natural products have been tested against cancer cell lines in vivo and in vitro. Likewise, casticin, a flavonoid extracted from the Vitex
species, has been isolated from the leaves and seeds of V. trifolia
and V. agnus-castus
. Casticin possesses a wide range of therapeutic properties, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, antiasthmatic and antineoplastic activities. Several studies have been conducted on the anticancer effects of casticin against cancers, including breast, bladder, oral, lung, leukemia and hepatocellular carcinomas. The compound inhibits invasion, migration and proliferation and induces apoptosis (casticin-induced, ROS-mediated and mitochondrial-dependent) and cell cycle arrest (G0/G1, G2/M, etc.) through different signaling pathways, namely the PI3K/Akt, NF-κB, STAT3 and FOXO3a/FoxM1 pathways. This review summarizes the chemo-preventive ability of casticin as an antineoplastic agent against several malignancies.
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