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Review

Recent Advances on the Anticancer Properties of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and Its Major Constituents

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, 41500 Larissa, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2021, 26(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010086
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 27 December 2020
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally with an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018 and a sustained rise in its incidence in both developing and developed countries. According to the WHO, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Despite the emergence of many pioneer therapeutic options for patients with cancer, their efficacy is still time-limited and noncurative. Thus, continuous intensive screening for superior and safer drugs is still ongoing and has resulted in the detection of the anticancer properties of several phytochemicals. Among the spices, Crocus sativus L. (saffron) and its main constituents, crocin, crocetin, and safranal, have attracted the interest of the scientific community. Pharmacological experiments have established numerous beneficial properties for this brilliant reddish-orange dye derived from the flowers of a humble crocus family species. Studies in cultured human malignant cell lines and animal models have demonstrated the cancer prevention and antitumor activities of saffron and its main ingredients. This review provides an insight into the advances in research on the anticancer properties of saffron and its components, discussing preclinical data, clinical trials, and patents aiming to improve the pharmacological properties of saffron and its major ingredients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Crocus sativus; saffron; cancer; anticancer activity; chemoprevention; clinical trials; patents Crocus sativus; saffron; cancer; anticancer activity; chemoprevention; clinical trials; patents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lambrianidou, A.; Koutsougianni, F.; Papapostolou, I.; Dimas, K. Recent Advances on the Anticancer Properties of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and Its Major Constituents. Molecules 2021, 26, 86. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010086

AMA Style

Lambrianidou A, Koutsougianni F, Papapostolou I, Dimas K. Recent Advances on the Anticancer Properties of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and Its Major Constituents. Molecules. 2021; 26(1):86. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010086

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lambrianidou, Andromachi, Fani Koutsougianni, Irida Papapostolou, and Konstantinos Dimas. 2021. "Recent Advances on the Anticancer Properties of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and Its Major Constituents" Molecules 26, no. 1: 86. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010086

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