Studies in humans have shown that 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), which is found in cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, is effective in the attenuation of gastrointestinal cancers. This review presents the latest findings on the use, targets, and modes of action of DIM for the treatment of human gastrointestinal cancers. DIM acts upon several cellular and molecular processes in gastrointestinal cancer cells, including apoptosis, autophagy, invasion, cell cycle regulation, metastasis, angiogenesis, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In addition, DIM increases the efficacy of other drugs or therapeutic chemicals when used in combinatorial treatment for gastrointestinal cancer. The studies to date offer strong evidence to support the use of DIM as an anticancer and therapeutic agent for gastrointestinal cancer. Therefore, this review provides a comprehensive understanding of the preventive and therapeutic properties of DIM in addition to its different perspective on the safety of DIM in clinical applications for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.
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