Pharmacological effects and mechanisms of paeonol on antitumor and prevention of side effects of cancer therapy
Cancer represents one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Conventional clinical treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. However, these treatments have inherent limitations, such as multidrug resistance and the induction of short- and long-term multiple organ damage, ultimately leading to a significant decrease in cancer survivors’ quality of life and life expectancy. Paeonol, a nature active compound derived from the root bark of the medicinal plant Paeonia suffruticosa, exhibits various pharmacological activities. Extensive research has demonstrated that paeonol exhibits substantial anticancer effects in various cancer, both in vitro and in vivo . Its underlying mechanisms involve the induction of apoptosis, the inhibition of cell proliferation, invasion and migration, angiogenesis, cell cycle arrest, autophagy, regulating tumor immunity and enhanced radiosensitivity, as well as the modulation of multiple signaling pathways, such as the PI3K/AKT and NF-κB signaling pathways. Additionally, paeonol can prevent adverse effects on the heart, liver, and kidneys induced by anticancer therapy. Despite numerous studies exploring paeonol’s therapeutic potential in cancer, no specific reviews have been conducted. Therefore, this review provides a systematic summary and analysis of paeonol’s anticancer effects, prevention of side effects, and the underlying mechanisms involved. This review aims to establish a theoretical basis for the adjunctive strategy of paeonol in cancer treatment, ultimately improving the survival rate and enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients.