Silibinin: an old drug for hematological disorders

Hai Zou, Xing-Xing Zhu, Guo-Bing Zhang, Yuan Ma, Yi Wu _ and Dong-Sheng Huang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:89307-89314. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19153

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Hai Zou1,6, Xing-Xing Zhu2,6, Guo-Bing Zhang3,6, Yuan Ma1,6, Yi Wu4,6 and Dong-Sheng Huang5,6

1Department of Cardiology, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

2Department of Nephrology, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

3Department of Pharmacy, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

4Department of Hematology, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

5Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

6People’s Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou 310000, China

Correspondence to:

Yi Wu, email: [email protected]

Dong-Sheng Huang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: silibinin, β-thalassemia, acute myeloid leukemia, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, multiple myelomas

Received: February 28, 2017     Accepted: June 27, 2017     Published: July 11, 2017


Introduction: Silibinin (silybin), a non-toxic natural polyphenolic flavonoid, is the principal and the most biologically active component of silymarin. It is efficient in the treatment of acute and chronic liver disorders caused by toxins, drug, alcohol, hepatitis, and gall bladder disorders. Further, in our previous studies, we explored the anti-cancer efficacy in common cancers, such as lung, prostatic, colon, breast, bladder, as well as, hepatocellular carcinoma. Interestingly, silibinin is still not solely limited to the treatment of these diseases. Recent research endeavors suggest that silibinin may function diversely and serve as a novel therapy for hematological disorders.

Areas covered: It discovered several interesting viewpoints in the widely studied mechanisms of silibinin in the hematological disorders.

Expert commentary: In this report, we review the up-to-date findings of more potency roles of silibinin in β-thalassemia (β-TM), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and multiple myelomas (MM) therapy and attempt to clarify the mechanisms underlying its effects. There are two viewpoints: First, The functional mechanisms of silibinin in AML cells via regulating cell differentiation to exert anti-cancer effect; Second, combination treatment strategy may be a good choice.

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