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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology


ISSNİ0172ñ780X Copyrightİ©İ1997 NeuroendocrinologyİLetters

NEL Vol. 18 No. 2/3
Original Article

1998; 18:59-62
pii: NEL182397A02


Melatonin Regulation of Tumor Growth and the Role of Fatty Acid Uptake and Metabolism
by David E. Blask, Leonard A. Sauer and Robert T. Dauchy


Dietary and hormonal factors play an important role in both the stimulatory and inhibitory control of neoplastic growth in experimental animal models of tumorigenesis (Rose, 1982). Whereas dietary fat acts as a potent stimulus for tumor growth (Klurfeld, 1995), compounds such as indoleamines, found in cruciferous vegetables, exhibit antineoplastic properties (Wattenburg and Loub, 1978). Similarly, hormones such as estrogens and prolactin promote tumorigenesis (Welsch, 1985), while the pineal neurohonnone melatonin, also an indoleamine, acts as an oncostatic agent (Blask, 1993). Although melatonin has been shown to inhibit cancer growth in a number of in vitro and in vivo experimental tumor models (Blask, 1993), no definitive mechanism has been established to explain its anticancer action, particularly in vivo. OUT COmbined interests in the role of fatty acid uptake and metabolism (Sauer et al., 1997) and melatonin (Blask, 1993) in tumor growth led to the novel hypothesis that dietary fat and the photoperiod, as represented by the circadian melatonin signal, are important environmental factors interacting at the level of the cancer cell to regulate tumor growth.


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